Progress Report …………. Bitter Sweet

The Glamorous 70’s
‘My Parent Troops’

Monday October 10th

Scan Day   

So scan day has arrived, and today I try to take it in my stride. No instructions to read as I know them like the back of my hand. I drink the ‘contrast solution’, which resembles a certain type of bodily fluid that I’d rather not think about and tastes like what I would imagine the bottom of a fish tank tastes like.
I thought by drinking it out of one of Sienna’s party cups
it might taste better.
Maybe Not!

Still, I lock in my ‘iron clad taste buds’ and close my eyes imagining a warm summer night watching the sunset, and sip it down like a Mojito.

Meanwhile, my Fairy has her first day back at school and gives me her favourite bunny Maggie, as a good luck charm. Later she asks what a good luck charm is.

I collect up all my bracelets, charms, rings, and various good- luck dingle dangles and put them in my bag. The Brave Man thinks I’m crazy because my bag is so heavy, I should have a tag on it saying, “Bend Knees When Lifting”. Still they all come with me, it’s all part of the routine now! 

Maggie making a dandelion wish

As regulars, the Brave Man and I we were greeted like royalty at the hospital, even the guy who puts out the “Slippery When Wet” sign, knows who we are.

The scan went without a hitch, the injection wasn’t as painful as it usually is. I remind myself that I have had more pricks than an afternoon walking through a blackberry bush naked, so another one is not going to hurt.

As I lay in the massive doughnut shaped machine, listening to the computer voice telling me to “hold your breath……breathe……hold your breath.” I closed my eyes and imagined the faces of my Brave Man and my Little Fairy.

In the old days, I would watch intently the expression on the radiologist’s face, any nuances that would give me any indication that he or she has seen anything bad. I would listen and analyse every word, they would say…..

·         “Hello” = He didn’t say “Hi” that means he wants to be more official because I’m going to die.

·         Raising of eyebrows = Means he has seen something suspicious.

·         “Good Luck”  = That means, all you have is luck on your side because you’re in a lot of trouble.

·         “See you later” = Definitely means it’s all very grim. 

Did anyone mention eyebrows?

With the benefit of (unwanted) experience, I’ve learnt that all those things mean nothing, other than I suffer from delusional paranoia as well as cancer. It’s the Health Stylist that will tell you the ‘state of play’, not a radiologist that happens to raise his eyebrows a lot.  If the truth be told, he probably has a very bad case of wind which coincides with spontaneous eyebrow raising.

That afternoon, I go and see Dr Deb for some wisdom and meditation. I am preparing myself for the next day when I receive my results. Trying to stop my active little mind from going down the slippery dip of anxiety. We talk about my fears, worries and concerns. Surprising to me, one of the things that constantly pop into my head is about the Brave Man and what a ‘great catch’ he is. I keep having these visions of all these opportunistic women lined up at our front door, each holding a nice warm dish of chicken and tinned apricot casserole.
Back off ladies…. I’m not going anywhere!

Tuesday October 11th

Results Day

Sienna leaves for school, swatting me away like a fly whilst I give her a hundred kisses and cuddles. I leave a little note in her lunch box, wishing her a good day and that I can’t wait to see her when I pick her up.

We head off to the Health Stylist’s rooms, and I commence implementation of all the meditation and calming techniques that Dr Deb has taught me. All the while I am stroking Sienna’s favourite rabbit and jiggling my lucky charms. Now and again the weight of my handbag pulls on my shoulder bringing me back into, “But what if, what if, what if???” mode, but I manage to contain that and remain ‘alert but not alarmed.’

The Brave Man pulls into the church car park which is across the road from the hospital and I think how clever he is just to get that extra bit of spiritual support. But in my horror I notice he drives through the ‘No Entry’, which in my delusional state of paranoia and anxiety, I convince myself it has reversed my whole ‘good luck’ routine that I had worked on all morning.

So we sit in the waiting room, I always position myself so I can see my Health Stylist’s reflection in the door as he walks out of his office, so it’s not too much of an ‘anxiety explosion’ when he calls my name. At least I can see him coming. 

My Health Stylist, just got back from holidays. Tanned, healthy, glowing, looking gorgeous and that’s just what he said about me. Of course there was also the ‘progress report’ which he proudly announced as, “the scans showing no signs of cancer in my liver, lungs, bones, chest.”

In my glass half full way, I thought, “Why didn’t he mention my brain? What does that mean? Is he trying to gently tell me I have cancer of the brain?” I subconsciously give myself a big ‘Chinese burn’ and promptly snap back into relief mode. We all breathed out at once and chatted about holidays.

The relief of my good results were cut short, when that same afternoon my poor little Mum was diagnosed with throat cancer.

Life can be bittersweet.
Me and my Mum
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