Telling the kids

In October I had my second MRI scan. Bizarrely it wasn’t as awful as the first time. I’m not sure if it’s  because I had worked myself up into a bit of a frenzy, that it didn’t seem quite so hideous. So to those about to experience a first MRI, after reading ‘my first MRI’ post you might be slightly apprehensive, but will come out saying “that wasn’t that bad!” So I think I have actually done a bit of public service. No need to thank me, you’re welcome.

I  requested Magic 80’s hour this time round and when Wilson Phillips ‘Hold on’ came on I was a happy woman. This caused a stream of conversation after about what is your favourite bit in Bridesmaids. The radiographers’ was the wedding dress scene, but mine has to be the plane scene, “I had a dream we were in a plane crash. You were in it.” Surreal conversations had when you are waiting to find out if the cancer has spread. So waiting for results  comes next and then thankfully I received an ‘all clear.’ Another excuse for bubbles and celebrations. I was aware that the fear wasn’t as bad this time around, as I was expecting an all clear, due to only being  six months post diagnosis. With two years and ten months swimming around my head as the average time it takes to get to the liver, I had sort of worked out that the danger zone is from one year to four. My liver mets guy said he had heard from my eye oncologist about the fluid. This worried me as I wondered why she would call him and inform him unless this had alarm bells ringing for them both. I think those alarm bells will now remain ringing, but I hope time will prove them wrong.

My eye check up in December was unremarkable. My stubborn tumour still hadn’t decreased in size but remained looking dormant. I informed my eye doctor that my next check up for the liver was in April and if all was well maybe I could go onto six monthly checks and have everything done in one day? Sounds a reasonable request. She eventually agreed that she would leave me for four months until April, but I was now never going onto six monthly checks. I would always  be seen four-monthly. What?! and Why? But actually did I want to know that answer? No. A little bit like the biopsy, I don’t want to know. She informed me it was due to my age, yes, likely story. My age hasn’t changed since I had been seeing her, I haven’t suddenly got younger, but I wasn’t going to argue the toss, I didn’t want to know the answer anyway. Christmas was around the corner, I was escaping from all hospital check ups for a full four months, I was content with that.

This was when we decided to tell the children. With things seeming more calm I felt I could do it without crying. Actually that’s all a big lie, I remained a coward. It was my eldest daughter that came to me and said ,”mum, you need to tell T.” My youngest had gone into her elder sisters bedroom when she was home from uni for the weekend and said “I think mum has cancer.” My bright little observant button had watched us over the previous months, had been watching the tears, the hugs, the cards received from friends that had been put away so they couldn’t read the heartfelt messages, the flowers arriving, the neighbours knocking on the door asking how I am and had realized what was going on. She had kept it to herself because I was too selfish to talk to her about it. I had been thinking about myself and my emotions and hadn’t put her first. That is my biggest regret in all of this. I should have told her sooner. Even when she would hug me at night and cry and tell me she didn’t want me to die, I’m ashamed to say I would laugh it off and tell her not to be silly. I just had a naughty freckle. I couldn’t bare to see her in pain but I didn’t realise I was causing her more pain by keeping it from her. Thank goodness for her older sister, other wise I m not sure how long I would have tried to hide it under the carpet.

Telling the children is obviously hideous. A moment came up in a conversation so I took it and told them. They cried, as expected,  but the biggest shock was for my dizzy middle child. She is called ‘dizzy middle’ for a reason. Her life is one of no concerns and worries. She is the one that struggles most in school,  but she is our sleeping beauty who doesn’t have a worry in the world. She is laid back and always laughing. And this came to rock her world, not in a good way. Maybe also because she was in France while I had been in hospital she couldn’t quite comprehend when this had happened. She needed fast reassurance that my check ups were all O.K and now has swiftly moved on. In fact I think she’s probably forgotten about it. There are rounders games to play and drama auditions to attend, why worry about your mum’s dodgy eye? And she has a point.