16 days is the length of the most recent stretch of waiting… day 12 of waiting and it’s getting to me! I’ve never had much patience. (Any patience!) I’m more of an ‘Ooh… I’ve just thought of something… I need it now’, kind of a girl. (I am very aware that I’m coming across as somewhat of a brat in these posts - oh well… I promised openness and honesty!) I’m quickly beginning to realise that ‘lack of patience’ should have been top of the ‘Why NOT Me’ list when it came to who makes the best cancer patient. There is not a lot of patience at all to be found in the girls on my side of the family - therefore I’m blaming my genes! For the ‘good things come to those who wait’ attitude to life I have to look to my ‘In-laws’ and in particularly- my mother-in-law. The woman has the patience of a saint! From her I could certainly learn a thing or two!
About a million people (slight exaggeration) have informed me so far that the waiting is the worst part. The fact that so many people have been able to tell me this illustrates just how long the various waits have been! But they are right. Waiting is excruciating!
There are the big landmark appointments, where you get life changing news and then there are little appointments in between. I even hanker after these little ‘uns. I find it strangely comforting attending the Breast Care Clinic, (Probably to have a quick glance around the waiting room to check I’m on track with being the best one!) comforting in the sense that it is all real and not something I’ve imagined! There I go again… questioning my own illness!
Waiting: It’s almost like I drift around between appointments, existing until the next. I keep counting down: how many days now? Wishing the time away! Surely this is a dangerous past time for a cancer patient! Am I not supposed to be out there living life to the full, not wasting a precious moment? Nope, not me I feel like I am currently conducting some kind of scientific experiment to see what can make another day pass more quickly than the last. Two opposing theories… One: sleep- time goes fast when you’re not awake! So, lay in, have daytime naps and go to bed early. Two: cram as much into your day as possible, whiz from one thing to the next whilst constantly making mental notes about what other things you might just squeeze into your day! End the day exhausted and sleep well. I’m favouring this second theory at the moment; I’m hoping that it’ll see me through until Wednesday at least!
I have to say that starting this blog was a stroke of genius when it comes to time filling; not only do I constantly think about what to write next, I have to actually write, nag Rob to check it for me, and then waste endless hours checking the ‘stats’ page! And then yesterday the best thing that could happen to a beast breast blogger actually happened to me… the one and only Lisa Lynch of ‘Alright Tit’ and ‘The C word’ fame actually replied to my email! (Eeek!) Not just a courtesy email. No no no…she said my blog was good (maybe I should go on a course to see how to make it outstanding… I’m sure Milton Keynes Council could help me out!) She was lovely and encouraging and wonderful. Thank you Lisa you made my day! (Actually you made my waiting period!)
One thing I’m not doing to fill my time is cooking- not because I’m lazy (I am) but because I’m still getting dinners delivered to my door- thank you lovely ladies from both our schools! This had led me to question what service I could offer if anyone I knew was ill. Would I ever cook a meal and deliver it to a friend’s house? And more importantly would they thank me for it? I’m not certain that this is where my talents lie!
And so the waiting goes on…The most annoying thing is that I’ve made it to the next landmark once already… after the lumpectomy I was all set to get my results and move on to the oncologist for chemo timetabling. This was not to be. I made it to the results appointment, only to be told that (in a move that took me swiftly back to square one) I would unfortunately need a mastectomy. So now, lumpectomy- done. Mastectomy- done! I’m nearing the results and timetabling day for the second time. I wonder if it’s the teacher in me that is so fixated on having my chemo dates safely plotted in my calendar? I do love a good timetable! Maybe it’s just a lack of patience patient thing!
Another thing I have been wondering is (and this is directed to others with just the one boob… mono boob…uni-boob) do you sometimes have the urge to scratch the boob that’s no longer there? Oh my God- it’s the most excruciating thing ever… an itch you cannot scratch! And the more you think about it the more it goes on tickling away! Rob reckons it’s something called ‘Ghost Itching’ I’m not so sure- must remember to google it!
So, whilst harping on about not wanting to be defined by being a cancer patient (I am still me, blah, blah) I am living for appointments… waiting for news… desperately needing dates to tick off further into the future. Unfortunately I am yet to attend a results appointment that goes totally my way, despite this I am feeling confidently positive in the knowledge that Wednesday will soon be here and I’ll sail from meeting to meeting hearing all the things I need to hear. Then, finally I can come home and get down to important business… plotting my social life around my chemo dates.
The sunshine is calling me…until next time… Keeeeeeeep waiting!