Follow up

1 minute read time.

I went for my follow up appointment with the surgeon and - of course - the first thing he said was 'You're looking well' and the second thing he said was 'Good news! You won't need a second operation and you're cancer free' and the the third he said started with 'but...'. 

And it's nothing - the cancer was stage 1 but the tumour was grade 3 so, along with lots of other people's bits of tissue, it has been sent to America for oncotype testing. It may mean that I need chemotherapy after all and that radiotherapy and starting hormone treatment will be delayed. Or it may not - 80% of women don't but since the surgeon told me that only 3 in a thousand patients who present with breast pain turn out to have cancer I haven't much time for statistics anymore. And he's delighted with the way my wound is healing 'exceptionally well', my arm mobility and - you know - everything. Pfft. I try really, really hard to listen to everything he and the breast care nurse are saying and stay with their upbeat mood but it's as if something else has taken control of my brain. 

And all my family and friends are delighted too. They listen to or read my news and - for the most part - draw an entirely different picture from me. They hear 'cancer free' and 'excellent prognosis' and are really pleased for me. It's just me really. 

My niece points out that this is simply a survival technique - our brains pick out the bad news automatically or something like that. Anyway it does take a while to shake this but eventually I start feeling pleased that I no long have breast cancer. Now it just has to stay that way.