Wednesday, 14 May 2008


About 6 weeks ago, I had my first routine mammogram. It was very quick and easy, local and carried out with minimum discomfort by radiographers on a mobile unit. I thought little of it, was surprised how minor the procedure was, and went home. Then, a few days later, I received a recall letter. Perhaps the picture was not clear, perhaps there was a benign lump, perhaps I had cancer.

The staff at the Mermaid Center at Treliske, Truro, were excellent. They were reassuring. There was something, probably a cyst. They took more pictures, then did an aspiration to remove whatever was there. Green, lovely. I felt reassured, that was the end of it. They did a last mammogram to make sure it had gone. It had not. So, then I was called back for a biopsy. This was about one week alter. It was not painful, and the staff were so attentive, that I thought I was definitely dying, although the radiologist had been very reassuring that the 'lump' (I have never been able to feel it) was probably nothing to worry about.

Today I returned for the result. I was very nervous, the outcome seemed so life altering. But, as I waited anxiously in the waiting room, I asked myself what I was most worried about. Not dying, not pain, but how it would affect my business, losing my hair, the general uncertainty and lack of ability to plan anything. And how it might affect me and Simon, whether I would be unbearably ratty.

I was called in, the consultation lasted about one minute, all is well, there is a fatty or calciferous lump, but nothing needing any treatment.

Gradually, the relief flooded in and is still with me. I can now get on with planning things, and return to worrying about all the little day to day niggles, how the tomatoes are growing, how rapidly the weeds are taking over, whether I have just been bitten by a cat flea and the like...

I think it has been a useful experience, something and yet nothing. Simon has been fantastic, coming with me and hearing all my worries, yet holding back on his own anxieties and fears for the future. There may be many more tests of us to come I am sure, but I feel stronger to deal with them now that we have come through this one.


Lovely's Blot said...

That's your 3BT things for the week then! I can remember similar feelings when waiting for the results of scans etc. I'm glad I have had all the experiences I have had as I have learnt more than I have lost but I wouldn't wish some of them on anyone! Very glad it is all okay.. I have been thinking about you.

Michael House said...

Thank you for your thoughts Lovely. It has definitely been a useful experience, now that I am safely the other side of that particular one.