Thursday 8 October 2022
Thursday 8 October; a day I’ll never forget! After a couple of weeks of wondering and waiting my mum gets confirmation that she has breast cancer and my world is rocked to its foundation …
At the moment they think it is stage 1 and treatable, but the initial diagnosis has thrown us into a world of further tests and scans, so at the moment I just have everything crossed for ‘no new information’, because I realise that I am simply not yet ready for anything more serious.
For my mum is quite a character; a huge personality brimming with life, mischief and incredible kindness. Ever present, energetic and exuding a sense of immortality…except of course … no-one is… none of us lasts forever and in the past week, as we waited in limbo for the results of biopsies and radiographs, the vision of a world that did not include her hit me like a train.
So when, at orchestra a few days ago, she risked sending me a mildly obscene gesture and cheeky smile as someone asked, for about the 20th time, ‘what bar we are going from?’… it brought a lump to my throat. Whirring round and round in my mins was the voice that said, what if that’s the last time we are at a rehearsal together and I see her face grinning across the room?
Ansd last Sunday night when she called incensed, to discuss the Strictly Come Dancing results show, I wobbled again.
What if …….?
On this occasion, I panicked so much that I cancelled my plans for this Saturday night and arranged instead to go around for a ‘Strictly viewing party’, because suddenly every moment with mum felt too precious to waste. And all the little things… those tiny details we often take for granted … well I realised how important and special they truly are.
So the initial cautious diagnosis, and treatment plan almost comes as a relief from the far grimmer scenarios I thought we might be facing.
I am aware, or course, that no surgery will be easy, as she is over 80. In fact mum’s first question to the consultant is,
“I didn’t know that anyone my age could get cancer!”
Alas; they. In fact, the National Library of Medicine reports that ‘one in ten’ breast cancer patients are over the age of 80. If there is a mixed message, it arises from the cessation of the screening programme at the age of 70 in the UK. This does not, as I’ll admit I thought, indicate a reduction in risk rather that the increase in other health risks results in the programme not longer being cost-beneficial for the NHS.
Let’s be thankful that mum’s cancer seems, at this point in time, to have been found quickly.
For now, I hope and put on a brave face; brave for mum and brave for my children. And only occasionally, usually as I am on my own in the car, do a let a small tear fall ….
So sorry to hear this. Hope she gets good treatment Xx
Thank you so much. And my best wishes to you and your mum and dad tooxx
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