Your dad took that Friday off work. We knew the call was coming but we didn’t know when. To try and take our minds off things we went next door. We hadn’t spent anytime in there since we exchanged over a week ago and there was so much to do it was difficult to know where to start. The consultant had said the call would be after that mornings meeting, I guessed it wouldn’t be till at least ten so we had a few hours to fill before then. We passed the time with small talk, until we knew more we’d said everything that could be said about the cancer so we tried to focus on the house. We thought the living room space might work better as a kitchen but weren’t yet convinced. The clock ticked and the morning went by slowly as my anxiety increased. If Einstein was still around I’d be definitely be petitioning him to adapt his theory of relativity to include how time also slows down when your waiting for the result of a cancer diagnosis. The phone signal was awful in the house and I really didn’t want to miss this call, I began to wonder whether I should have waited next door. And then my thoughts turned back to the house, yes, the space would definitely work better as a kitchen, but how would that work with the current water supply? I looked at the clock. Eleven thirty. It was getting late now, had the meeting finished yet? What had they found? Had the cancer spread? Was I going to even be here to see a new kitchen? And if we did put a kitchen in here would we have to knock out the fireplace and chimney breast. How do we do that?
Then the phone rang. It was Mr Townsend.
We walked back next door and stood in the front room. Your dad listened in closely as Mr Townsend gave me the news. It was good. The scans were clear and showed no obvious signs of spreading. The relief was overwhelming, silent tears began to roll down my face as Mr Townsend kept talking and although I tried to take in all he was saying all I wanted to do was get off the phone and ring grandma and grandpa and let everyone else know the news.
I hung up and hugged your dad. I can’t begin to explain what I felt in that moment. Two weeks ago the thought of hearing I had any cancer at all would have been devastating but now after fearing the absolute worst the fact it was just in one place and could be removed was such a relief. I went upstairs and phoned grandma, she was on the train to Manchester to visit aunty Sophie and was about to overdose on Valium (her own words). Just her luck the man she was sitting next to was on his way to a concert, high on life and wanted everyone else in the carriage to know. Although at first it felt like it wasn’t the best seat choice, up until that point it was probably a decent distraction to the thoughts spinning around in her own head as she waited for me to call. I told her the good news. I still needed a PET scan in a couple of weeks which would provide more detail, but it would more than likely confirm curative treatment was possible. I would then need surgery to remove the cancerous cells that had been left behind and some surrounding tissue but that might be it, no radiotherapy, no chemo and no loosing my hair. I rang grandpa next but he didn’t pick up, grandma said he might be at the gym so I sent a text message
‘Good news nothing showed on scan. Need a PET scan which shows fine detail but none of organs showed hotspots and lymph nodes looked normal size.x’
Ten minutes later I got one back.
‘Brilliant! Crying in the changing room. Love you so much Dad x’
I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry (again), the thought of grandad stood in a towel crying in the middle of the changing rooms of David Llyod’s was pretty funny but I’d only ever seen him do this once in my life and although I knew it, he very rarely said he loved me so that message meant the world. After ringing uncle Nathan and auntie Sophie I sent a text message to everyone in my phone book who I’d promised to keep up to date. It felt good. I felt good.
The next day I sat in St Pancras station eating an almond crossiant and drinking a bowl of coffee in Le Pain, it’s funny it all seemed to taste so much better than it had before. It was the start of half term and before any of this had began your dad had booked a football tour with the boys at school to Valencia. We talked about it and decided it was best he still go, nothing would be happening now for a couple of weeks and I could use the time to go back home and stay with grandma and grandpa. We’d miss our third wedding anniversary but for now it looked like there was at least going to be a fourth. I grabbed a bottle of water and a magazine to read on the journey. On the front cover was the model Caprice and the headline read ‘Her miracle sons – one born via a surrogate and the other conceived naturally’ and underneath ‘I love both boys exactly the same’. I hadn’t really thought too much about babies ever since the diagnosis, I’d pushed it to the back of my mind. Now we knew what we were dealing with, the next time I saw the consultant we’d be talking exactly what my options were regarding surgery, how that might affect my fertility and the options that would be left open to us. But for now I could now add Caprice to the list of just two others who I knew had become parents via surrogacy, the other spots being filled by Sir Elton John and Frank Buffay, Jr. Of course I knew Frank Buffay was a fictional character so comparing his situation to ours wasn’t entirely realistic and I probably shouldn’t have being using a friends storyline as a basis for our own family planning, on the other hand, if Elton and Caprice could make it work, surely it was an entirely viable option for us?
Forever and Always