Saturday, 17 November 2012

A Week Of Woe

It is just over two years since Ady was first diagnosed with colon cancer. I look back over those years and think to myself ‘bloody hell, what a flipping journey!’
Our girls have grown and matured so much. I am so very proud of them and the way they have handled it all. They have learnt so much more about life and how to manage it than your average teenager. They have experienced some nice, and some not so nice emotions, from pure elation when we get the all clear to absolute devastation and sadness at each diagnosis and tumble. In the middle, they are learning how to deal with worry and angst.
I have read that book by John Cleese and Patrick Skynner on Families and How to Deal with Them..twice, actually, and as long as I help them not to be scared of any emotion they are experiencing at the time, and help them through it, then John and Patrick say I am doing OK!

Anyway, lets get back to telling you about my week of woe.
Well, Ady has been having his CT scan and blood test for his two year colon cancer screening. We go and get those done and then see the colorectal nurses for the results. Well, we were supposed to be seeing them last Friday at 9.30 as it happens. On Monday, one of the nurses phoned and asked if we could go in earlier...I will tell you the conversation we had;
Nurse: Hello Emma, could you come in earlier on Friday, say about 9am cos we are busy and double booked so I am trying to see if the younger ones can come earlier.
Me: Yes of course, no problem. Do you have the results there cos if you like, if he is clear, we are happy not to bother with the appointment and save everyone’s time, just tell us on the phone.
Nurse: Erm, I dont have his notes on the screen, so if everything is fine, then I will call you back in ten minutes and chat on the phone, otherwise we will see you Friday.
Me: Lovely, thank you.

Well, she didn’t phone back.

Ady was talking on his mobile at the time, so didn’t hear the conversation, but asked who it was when he had finished.
I decided to tell him that it was the nurse asking us to come early on Friday cos she was busy. I didn’t see the point in worrying him for a week. He is having enough trouble with his feet and wrist, without having an extra woe, and anyway, she might have been busy and got sidetracked.
Tuesday came and went, and no call again. I started to think ‘Oh bugger’(bad choice of word there I spose, under the circs), but I thought, ‘she has gone for option B and that everything is not alright, so she will see us Friday....shit....oops, another bad choice.
I kept it to myself as I didn’t want to worry the girls or Ady because what if she had just got side tracked and then forgot. What is the point in all of us worrying, perhaps needlessly.
I’m not ashamed to admit, but the week took its toll on me a bit. I didn’t sleep very well and at one point, I was ironing at 3.30am and all I thought about was what if the cancer has come back, how are we going to manage.
My thoughts would go from ‘The cancer has come back’ to ‘she has forgotten to ring us’, to ‘perhaps they have found radiation damage and want to investigate’ to ‘they just want to see how he is this time cos we usually do phone appointments’
And of course when you are thinking that the cancer has come back, your thoughts go from arranging the funeral again and thinking about music and sandwich fillings to what treatment they will give him and will he be able to survive chemo.
When you think about that she has forgotten to ring us, you also think that if she has forgotten to ring us then it isn’t very good practice and that is unlike her and does she realise the stress she is putting me under. Perhaps she didn’t realise what she was saying and how I was taking it and hanging onto that call back and the impact of “Otherwise I will see you Friday” had. That made me a bit cross actually, but our nurse is lovely so I wasn’t cross cross, more put out cross.
Then with the radiation damage, perhaps they would want to do some more tests to make sure it is that, and then what would they do about it anyway?
Then, with the ‘perhaps they just want to see him’ bit, I thought, ‘that’s nice, they are very lovely.
Bloody hell, and then you go all the way back to having horrors about funerals and sandwiches. Christ, I went on like this for a whole week!!
And all the time, looking at Ady trying to see if he has that sort of cancerous look about him people sometimes get and wondering if this is the reason he has such severe fatigue.
By Wednesday, I had worked myself up into quite a state, but I didn’t want to ring the nurse to tell her she hadn’t rung me back because I didn’t want to put her in an awkward position if the cancer had come back. They like to ideally tell you that sort of thing in a quiet room whilst handing out the Kleenex, not on the phone. And anyway, our nurse is nice and she would never have intentionally created my turmoil.

Thursday came, and so did the postman in the afternoon. I can sniff out a hospital letter from a mile off. I wasn’t expecting a letter from the hospital but one had arrived. I thought bloody hell, the last time we got an unexpected letter, it was from Oncology with an appointment that they had sent before anyone had spoken to us to tell us we needed and oncologist. I bet the same thing has happened again and the poor nurse was waiting to tell us on Friday but someone has sent the letter too soon again.
It was a letter from Ady’s surgeon and had just one line.
Dear DrK,
I am pleased to say Ady’s follow up CT scan has shown no evidence of recurrence.
With best wishes
The surgeon.

Christ, was I pleased and relieved to read that !!!
Thank God the nurse just forgot and didn’t realise the angst caused. I wont bother telling her cos she is usually excellent and really, it was my fault in a way for asking for results over the phone.
I did ring her to say we had the letter and would she like to cancel our appointment and she rang back Friday morning and spoke to Ady while I was out. I haven’t a clue what was said, something about colonoscopies and blood tests for next year, but Ady cant remember so we will see what comes in the post.

I have lots and lots to tell you, so over the next week, I will try and catch things up a bit.
I am hoping I dont get another week like last week, but I did come clean to Ady after we got the letter and he said he would have been suspicious if we had stopped off to book a plot at the crematorium on the way to the hospital...good job it isn’t en route the eh !! 

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