Back to the start. This morning I found myself sat in the same seat, in the same waiting room I was in four months ago when I felt a bit embarrassed for making a fuss over a bit of a lumpy boob. That morning I was more worried about annoying my boss by taking the time off work for the appointment than i waa about the possibility of cancer. Cancer happened in another place, in another life and I was thinking about getting back to mine once all the tests to be better safe than sorry were done.
Four cycles of chemotherapy later, I waited to find out what the lump has been upto by way of an ultrasound. It felt like some macabre parents evening where I was about to see how my tumour was progressing. It never occurred to me that the main reason for the scan today was to see if it was responding to chemotherapy. I just assumed that was a given so it stopped me in my tracks when the doctor said that was why I was there.
Here's what I know. The original size of the lump /tumour/growth was 22mm. Today it measures 1.3 mm. It has responded to chemotherapy and even with my limited maths skills I understand it's almost halved.
Yes, I know. Great news.
Except I feel disappointed because I was hoping it had disappeared and I would be let off having any more chemo. And I feel guilty because at least I have responded to chemotherapy as there's not so many treatment options for triple negative breast cancer.
Yet here I am feeling deflated and ungrateful while people tell me I must be pleased or I must feel relieved or it must make me ready to face the final two cycles. I don't feel determined. I feel frustrated because it's out of my hands. The whole world talks about people fighting a cancer battle but in truth i'm not fighting. I'm accepting and living.
I wish I could fight it. I wish for the first time in my life I could have a real fight, to offer my lump outside and have a proper playground scrap. Nearly halved? That wouldn't cut it. I'm not a fighter but on this one, if I could actually fight my lump I would go primal and beat it to a pulpy death. Instead, there's no trading blows. Just living in shorter timeframes than I did pre-cancer. Today, this week, this cycle, surgery have replaced next month, next year, one day, when i'm older as points of reference.
I no longer feel like my time is guaranteed but before I sound completely depressing, i'm banking on being here a while yet. This week i've started to work on my garden and I very much intend to be here to see it bloom this summer.