I didn’t mean to take a break from writing, it just all got a little too much and now I’m not quite sure how to start again. Warlingham Medical Practice is starting to feel like a second home and as of today Evelyn you’re on the second course of antibiotics in the last month, me and your dad have yet to finish our first and Grace you appear (fingers crossed)to be, finally coming to an end to the second lot of eye drops in as many months. It will be nice to at long last see those beauties without all the gunk and crust surrounding them.
In other news I went back to work and managed to finish a hot cup of tea for the first time in months, Grace you started nursery and settled in very well, they love you already which is hardly surprising. My clean sweep of supporting the loosing party in every general election in my voting lifetime stayed very much intact and disappointingly by the time your passport arrives Grace it will be decidedly bluer than ours. We had Christmas ‘Up North’, I got my fix of chips and gravy and Evelyn you had your first ‘proper’ New Year sleepover with Zoe (although as predicted you lasted till just after midnight and then hopped in with us). And just like that we’re back round to January, a new start, a new year of possibilities and another year I thought I may never have.
November 7th 2013
Although it felt like a lifetime, the time from finding out about the cancer until the operation was actually less than a month. We drove to the Royal Surrey hospital early on the Thursday morning and luckily the M25 on this occasion didn’t add to the stress. We checked in and I was given a bed in a preoperative unit where we would wait until they were ready for me. The usual checks were performed, gown and identity bracelet provided and this time there was even a very fetching pair of surgical stockings to slip into. One of the surgical team went through the procedure and then listed all the possibilities that hopefully wouldn’t happen on the operating table. The chances of me bleeding out, losing my left eyeball, right middle finger or just straight up dying. I totally get why they do it, but I still wish there was a box I could tick and sign to say I’m fully aware of the potential mishaps but I’d rather not have the detailed and extensive list of all of them and if by chance they did happen I would be quite happy waive my right to have a moan up about it afterwards. The whole experience did nothing to alleviate any of the anxiety I was currently feeling.
Eventually they were ready and I said goodbye to your dad as they wheeled me away. It was at this point, he says that everything suddenly became real for him and hit him like a tonne of bricks. He’d brought along some work to do and had planned to sit and wait in Starbucks but just found it too difficult to focus. Instead he spent a lot of time texting and talking to grandma and grandpa while the clock ticked slowly on.
I sat on the bed as the anethestist and nurse chatted away and then pulled out a needle that looked more like a pointed metal drinking straw. By this point I was getting pretty used to being prodded and poked but this was another level. I questioned why on earth they couldn’t wait for me to be out for the count before they put that wherever it needed to go but as they got ready to insert it into my back they explained I needed to be awake and then what followed was, physically, the most painful thing I’ve ever endured. Fortunately I didn’t have much time to dwell on it as within minutes I was asleep.
The next thing I remember is waking up, I was incredibly cold and shivering uncontrollably. I drifted in and out piecing together slowly what was going on, I remember a clock, then out, voices, then out, other beds and out. Your dad was there and there was a dull ache in my shoulders, trapped gas that had been pumped in during the op pushing from inside out was trying to escape. I fell asleep.
In 2009 the Royal Surrey invested in a surgical robot revolutionizing they way procedures were carried out and significantly improving recovery time. I was left with just four small incisions and the following morning the pain in my groin was much less than I’d thought it would be. My shoulders however were another story and every time I tried to sit up I felt sick. One of the surgical team came to see me, it was a man I’d never met before, I asked “whether that was it, was it over now?” I had half meant it rhetorically, the scans had shown it wasn’t anywhere but in the cervix and that was now gone so I expecting a resounding yes. Instead it knocked me a little when he replied I would have to wait for the biopsy’s of the lymph nodes to come back to make sure. It made sense but it wasn’t what I wanted to hear.
I was deflated, my body ached, I had tubes going in and a catheter at my side. At some point over the next couple of days your dad asked if I wanted a photo. I didn’t. Having a photo made it all the more real and I didn’t want to be there, all I wanted was my normal cancer free life back. If I didn’t make it through this I didn’t want any photos he took to be amongst the last photos of me that loved ones would see and if I did, I didn’t ever want reminding of how I felt lying there in that bed. I wanted to get out, I wanted to go home.
Forever & Always