The nights have been the longest and most restless I can remember for a long time – lying there my mind whirring, torturing myself with what if’s and might be’s. The see saw thoughts go from “It’s just a cyst” to “I’m going to die” up and down , again and again. The days tick by and I try to keep as busy as possible to distract my brain – it works in the day but at night there are no distractions and it all starts over again.
Jon is working three days a week in London – it’s no life for him up at 6am home at 7.30 pm. It also means he can’t come to appointments with me. He hates hospitals too. So I ask my wonderful friend Clare to come and be a second pair of ears for me – to listen calmly to what I am told, to tell me what was said when I ask her over and over.
We wait to see the consultant a room full of Mums and Mums to be waiting with babies or their bumps to see the midwife. Clare and I laugh about the fact that we are the least pregnant people in there ( I have finished making my family, Jon has had the snip and she had had hers through IVF). I was definitely the oldest woman in there – nearly as old as the magazines that were there for us to read!
The consultant emerged from her broom cupboard office half an hour late wearing a rumpled white suit (very Miami Vice I thought). She was lovely but not prepared and once I had recounted my medical history so far she asked us to wait outside whilst she tracked down the report from the radiographer. We briefly returned to her room only to be asked to leave again as she realised she had been given the wrong report -the one she had had a prominent note attached to say that the patient did not speak English.
On the third attempt we actually managed to complete the consultation. She said that she didn’t believe that the cyst was malignant as it appeared to be fluid filled and not mass filled. I did not fit the profile of most ovarian cancer sufferers, I was too young, pre- menopausal, I had had children and had breastfed – it all looked very hopeful. Clare and I exchanged glances and grinned. I just had to go for some blood tests and then I could go. The blood tests were a formality to double check her theories. She had explained that if the results did show that there was a continued risk of cancer then I would be referred to a Multi Disciplinary Team who would meet to discuss my case and plan a course of treatment for me. All I had to do was ring her secretary in a few days and get the results. More waiting.