I want to record some things that have happened before they escape my memory, the things that occasionally flash into my head, things which relate to finding out I had cancer.
* When I found the lump below my armpit, I wasn't sure which kind of doctor to go to. In the end decided to go to my GP as wasn't 100% sure if that part of the body counted as the breast. Had the last appointment of the day and when the doctor said you have to go for a scan, I remember saying: "Now?" and quickly thinking how I was sure I could fit it in before I went out for dinner. It was 4.45pm and Christmas Eve and I was going out for dinner but could always make it a bit later. But there was not a doctor in town to do the scan and, unbeknown to me at the time, no one to do it for the next three weeks."Oh don't worry," said the doctor. "Whatever it is, if it anything,you have caught it early." Bullshit. He must surely have known it was lymph and if it's lymph and cancerous it means it has spread from the boobs. Wonder if that is why he did not charge me for that appointment. Because he knew it was likely to be bad. "Oh, it's just a referral," he said.
* Finally had the scan on January 13 at 9am and a core needle biopsy was performed. It's lymph said the doctor, a prof who was new at the practice and did not know to work the pump on the apparatus properly but the main doctor came in to help. Still have the mark where it was done.
* Two days later, on January 15 at about mid-day, sometime after 12, I phoned to get the results as the doctor had not phoned me. I was at my desk in the office - an open plan office - and never thought if it was a bad result, would get it on the phone."He'll call you in if there's a problem," said a friend reassuringly. Hmmmph!! "Oh I have your file right here and was about to phone you," said the main doctor. "They are abnormal cells."
"You mean it's cancer?" I said increduously. "I don't like to use that word," he said. (I get upset just thinking about that conversation now.) He told me that it was just a process, that I should go see my GP - I said I would not but later did because I was so upset and needed to see a professional who could clarify things for me. I asked him to read out the exact words on the biopsy report and to this day it amazes me because what he read out was not on the report of which I later got a copy (not from him but another doctor). He lied to me. Soft-optioned it. He did however give me his home number should I want to phone him. I never did. But later did grow to respect him for other things he said and jokingly referred to him as "my new best friend". I don't think he handled the disclosure well at all but later in a way made up for it as he became an impartial voice in the confusing confrontations with doctors which continued.
Oh well. Let's make this memories or documentation part 1.