Always causing trouble :s
Updated: Nov 26, 2020
The next few days it was simply test after test to find out the extent of this cancer. The MRI scan was probably the one I disliked the most. I’m not a fan of confined space, where I can’t stand up straight. And the sound is also interesting, it’s like you are in a human printing machine.
Anyway 3 days later my dad, sister and I went to get the results of the tests. We were called in after about a three hour wait. The doctor who was seeing me had broken the news about me having cancer in the first place. He was one of the best breast cancer surgeons around and very much in demand. I was going to learn very quickly that with his amazingness, came the wait. His appointments never ran on time and if you were seen within 2 hours of your appointment time you were very lucky.
I think we were in his office for literally 2 minutes, apparently the MRI scan had shown some areas of concern. So I was told I needed to go and get those areas biopsied. I was also told that at the same time, I would have a coil inserted straight through the cancer. This was so they could keep a close eye on the size. I didn’t show it but I was really scared. I was hoping the MRI results were going to be clear, but instead it looked like the cancer had spread.
It definitely sent me on the inside into a panic. You start wondering where this cancer could now be, is it in my brain, in my bones. Nothing was confirmed but we can’t switch of the head can we! I also started thinking about all the ifs and buts. If I had just gone to the doctors when I originally felt the lump, if the results lady had been at the hospital the first time I came in. Maybe just maybe it wouldn’t have spread. Soooooo many pointless thoughts. This was the reality and this is what I was going to have to deal with.
My sister and dad had been sitting in the clinic with me all morning. I felt bad, so I sent them home. I had had a biopsy before and there was no need for them to be there. Aman said no that she would drop dad home and come back to keep me company. It was quite the palaver. I got the feeling that this was going to be my life for the forcible future and I needed to just get used to it.
I went downstairs and told the receptionist that id been sent to have emergency biopsies and a coil fitted. ‘There’s no appointments, you will need to come back next week’ she said. I remember just staring at her cold face, thinking wow she shouldn’t work here. I get it she deals with emergencies everyday to her they are all the same, but surely she should have some compassion some warmth! but no nothing. I can’t afford to wait another day I thought, let alone another week.
She went on to say ‘go upstairs and tell the breast clinic that you wont be seen today’.
I was upset, I was pissed off and quite frankly I wanted to punch her. Sooo many emotions were running through my head.
So ‘NO’ I said ‘you tell them’.
I can’t imagine how my face must have looked as she immediately walked off to make a call. 2 minutes later she came back and said ‘come this way, put on a gown and take a seat.’
The waiting room’s very small, with a maximum of around 8 seats. All of which were occupied. A complete mixture of ages. You get familiar with the faces because you’ve seen them upstairs in the breast clinic. Everyone was chatting with each other, I smiled sat down and joined in. I was asked if I had been tested before. ‘I said yes’ but I didn’t elaborate. These people were there just for mammograms and hopefully to get the all clear. I didn’t want to frighten anyone and put negative thoughts in anyone’s mind.
There was a grandma there she was with her daughter, really nice sooo friendly. At one point, she turned to her daughter and said I’m too old to get cancer, to go through all this. It got me thinking, what’s the right age to get cancer. She’s too old, I’m too young, someone’s just had a child, someone’s getting married. There was never going to be a right time to get it, it was something that could knock at your door at anytime and it did.
Whilst my head was thinking about this Aman arrived and 2 seconds later we were called in. I told Aman to wait in the waiting room, she hates needles. She was the girl throughout primary and secondary school you would hear screaming down the corridors because she was being dragged into the medical room, to have her injections. So obviously I didn’t want to expose her to what was coming. But nope she wanted to come in with me. She wanted to look after her big sister.
We walked in, I got on the bed and laid down with my arms above my head, I was a pro now knew exactly what to do.
We had an interesting nurse and doctor combination, the nurse was all fingers and thumbs. I swear if she messed up any more my sister would have gotten up and handed the doctors the utensils herself (are they called utensils right :s).
Anyway the doctor started with the coil, it did hurt a little bit, it was bound to she was sticking a coil through a 4 cm lump in the middle of my boob.
The funniest thing was the doctor was talking through the whole procedure with my sister, she was telling her to look at the screen and the needle. Aman’s face was a picture, the idea was for her to turn her head and not look but this doctor was practically shoving what she was doing down her throat.
Then it was time to do the biopsies, this time they were going to be done under the arm that’s where the mri scan showed problems. The doctor put the numbing gel on, but this time she didn’t wait. She was clearly in a rush. She biopsied once, then twice, then 3 times and it went on. The pain I was in was the worst pain I have ever experienced. And I have a high pain threshold. I remember my sister stroking my arm, trying to detract my attention from what was happening to me. ’ your skin is sooo soft’ she said. As the tears rolled down my face, with sheer agony. It was like the doctor just got trigger happy. Staple gun noise after staple gun noise. 8-9 biopsies later she finally finished. The doctor told me to put my gown on and go and wait in the waiting room for my mammogram. They needed to check the coil was put in correctly.
I tried to get off the bed, to put my gown on, but I just couldn’t lift my arm. My sister managed to get me into my gown but the pain was excruciating. I couldn’t speak properly. I kept mumbling to Aman it really hurts, it really hurts. But the doctor seemed un phased as she literally pushed me out the room. I struggled to walk to the waiting room, where everyone was still sat. My sister held me and sat me down. It was awful, the poor ladies in that waiting room saw me. I could see they were frightened as to what was coming for them. I wanted to tell them, that it wasn’t going to be the same because the first biopsy I had was not like this it didn’t even hurt. But I couldn’t get any words out my mouth.
One of the ladies turned to my sister and said ‘you should get her some coke, she’s gone really white, she needs sugar’ So my sister ran off to get me a drink. Whilst she was gone, the mammogram nurse came out and said ‘please come this way’. I slowly followed her into the mammogram room, my sister ran in after me and gave me the coke. She was then asked to leave. I couldn’t believe what was about to happen, the nurse told me to take my gown off and put my boob in between the two plates. I was crying the pain was sooo bad, I couldn’t lift my arm but I had to stretch it over the machine. I don’t know how I did it. I was bleeding but nobody seemed bothered. When it was finally over, the nurse looked at my face. She said ‘you look very pale why don’t u sit down’.
The next thing I know is I’m lying on the floor with no fucking top on, and there is what feels like 100’s of people inside the mammogram room. I can hear them all talking over each other in a massive panic but I can’t see anything, everything is black. The doctor who did my biopsies is trying to move me, I recognised her voice but I’m not moving I’ve gone into a foetus position. Someone else is reading out my stats, 36 year old cancer patient, I can hear Aman’s voice ‘that’s my sister’ it’s chaos. All while I’m bloody topless. I swear inside I was just soooo embarrassed, bloody typical.
And then I hear the voice of an Irish lady, the voice I won’t forget in a million years. As I started slowly coming round, she tells everyone to get out. And says ‘give the girl some dignity, let me dress her at least’ and then she dresses me. I finally come round, I remember sitting there cross legged. I was soooo embarrassed and just kept crying into my hands. I kept saying sorry. The nurse was like an angel she was just sooo nice, she asked me what happened and said not to worry. I sobbed and sobbed and I explained to her that I was scared. That my body was suppose to be strong and if I couldn’t handle a few biopsies how was I going to handle chemotherapy. I was telling her that my mind is tough but my body isn’t clearly. How was I ever going to get through this.
She explained this was completely different, that I shouldn’t worry, she sat for ages reassuring me. She really tried to put my mind at rest. It worked a little bit but I was still frightened, I was frightened that I was physically not strong enough to get through this.
Finally feeling less like an idiot, the nurse told me that when I collapsed I hit my head so I needed to be taken to A & E to have a CT scan. The doctor who did my biopsies was still trying to get me back into her room, everyone was on a mission to cover their backs basically.
I was rolled out of the room on a trolly, I felt terrible. I could see the fright I had put into the ladies who were sat in the waiting room. Thier was this beautiful girl who was there with her partner. She was practically in tears. I could hear her say does she have cancer. It was such a shit situation.
My lovely Irish nurse continued to be amazing, she made sure I was seen by all the right people and as quickly as possible. Dr Al DaBasi who apparently doesn’t leave his room for anyone, came downstairs just to check all the biopsy area. He wanted to make sure nothing serious was wrong.
‘I’ve got a feeling you are going to be trouble’ he said as he tapped my back reassuringly. We were going to learn he wasn’t far wrong.
Finally after a day from hell I was able to go home and it couldn’t have been soon enough.