Normally I prepare for my November birthday in about September. Buying little presents for myself to put away -which I never do – and thinking about which restaurant to spend the evening in. Now I have scans and appointments hanging over me, the sparkle and shine of birthdays is well and truly gone. My husband will ask what I want and where I want to go, things are booked, the family all looks forward to it, but I just feel frustrated that I have a huge “what if?’ hanging over me.
So on Monday morning I spent the morning in the MRI machine. I hate it, It takes me about the first ten minutes inside to calm down and stop thinking that I am trapped. I did eventually manage it and generally just felt pissed off with being there. It was a beautiful autumn day and I spent it in a clinic. On the plus side though I was no longer wearing the hideous red hospital socks. A lovely friend had bought me some gorgeous soft cashmere ones to help with the hideousness of scan time and they did help. So thank you.
The trains were delayed on the way home, so scan day took the best part of a beautiful day. I messaged a friend who is going through the same thing as me and we agreed that we both have thoughts of saying no to scans. What will be will be, but of course we know that if the worst happens we would feel hugely irresponsible, to our families mainly, so we are just trapped in this awful cycle.
Anyway results were due two days later. I couldn’t cope with another journey to Harley street, I have things to do and don’t want to spend an hour on a train wondering what the results will be. Having time to sit and think is not your best companion at this time. My friend suggested e-mailing the consultant and asking for a telephone consultation instead. Definitely the way to make my life easier. He agreed, so all I had to do was just sit and wait for the phone to ring.
In between this hideous wait fell Halloween. Which, for my kids is up there with Christmas as the best day ever! Pumpkins had been carved by my artistic drama one….
….sweets had been bought, cobwebs scattered. They had invited friends over, so I had a house full of ten girls applying fake scabs and blood over themselves and my walls. The doorbell was ringing constantly with the gorgeous trick or treaters and my mind was wondering what the results would be?
So out into the night we went to join all the other over excited, sugar pumped kids, me at a discreet distance as my 11 year old is now “old enough to go on my own!”
“I know” I respond, “I just want to soak up the atmosphere and check your friends are okay?” Hoping she won’t see me for the truly neurotic mother I am, and this is where is happened. My sudden reminder that all is not okay. My husband had called to say he was home but didn’t have a key. “Cut through the flats” I explained, “I’ll give you the keys there.” So with the kids happily knocking on doors I ran into a well lit communal garden to hand over said keys to my husband. As I did I stumbled down a step, one that I hadn’t seen. No harm done. After the usual small chit chat I said goodbye to hubby and turned to run after the kids. Thinking briefly ‘now where was that step?’ as I came crashing down to the ground. My knee hurt so much I broke out in a sweat and thought I was going to vomit. Mr J came rushing over “Oh Rufus! I heard you fall. Are you okay?!” Now I was feeling bloody awful, but still all I could think was “heard? you heard me fall? What am I some baby bloody mammoth? I thought all this marathon training was meant to make me as light as a feather?” Surely he was mistaken, I must have let out a little lady like “whoops” as I fell? I shall convince myself that is what he heard. Anyway I told him that the step was difficult to see, ignoring the search spotlight that seemed to be over my head illuminating said step, and ignored the thoughts running through my mind where the kids have recently been telling me that I have ignored waiters or people on trains as I’m ‘not seeing them’ on my left side. “It’s difficult to see” I said to hubby, trying to convince myself more than him. So feeling shaken and emotional I went back to join my gorgeous daughters as they knocked on strangers doors begging for sweets.
So with Halloween over for another year, today brought with it a bruised knee and an early morning call from my jolly oncologist. “All clear Ruth!” Have a great Christmas and see you next year!”
Still feeling a bit emotional from falling, not sleeping and worrying, I felt like crying. Yes I bloody will, I thought, but first I have a birthday coming up and my presents won’t buy themselves. I have a few months worth to catch up on!
On the marathon front, I’m up to 10.5 miles!!! I can’t believe I have ran that far?! So if anyone would like to sponsor me, raising money for Ocumleuk please just follow the link. I’m off to pop a bottle in the fridge as it’s November. My birthday month!