The last week has been spent telling people. Oddly it has been friends first.
The reason for this is two fold. The first is that I couldn’t tell my 16 year old daughter because she was away and I didn’t want her to be upset and worrying. In turn I didn’t tell my nearest family in case anyone accidentally said anything on face book that my daughter would pick up before coming home.
The second reason is that it is holiday season and I wanted to tell people before they and I went off. I would not want to be answering streams of questions after my surgery in September.
I met up with various groups of friends who were supportive and want to help. One of the important things I have done is to designate one person in each group as a communicator. I will text or email that person who will pass it on. Now this seems a bit dramatic for a moderately sized op but in reality I may need this network further on down the line if I need more intense treatment like chemotherapy. I am happier that it is done.
I have now told my nearest and dearest. This included a round trip to Portsmouth and the New forest. I did it in one day which means that I am home now and have had a good nights sleep despite coming in at 1.30 in the morning.
My daughter also now knows and has taken it well. I am waiting for questions but none have come as yet.
Telling people at work has been kindly taken off me by a colleague who has taken charge. I have a nice little team that interacts with thousands of people and a lot of them will ask about me. I was worried about who to tell what to but in fact, as she says, I don’t need to tell anyone anything. I suppose she is right. My concerns were about how the other two left holding the fort might have to answer questions. Anyway. With relief I have handed that one over and I am happy.
Communicating the facts has been quite straight forward. Surprisingly so. I almost have a sales pitch. ‘ I won’t be able to see you for a while as I am having surgery for a lump.’ The inevitable question is ‘Is is cancer?’. Once I have said yes it opens the conversation up to tell all and answer questions. Once or twice I have had a wobble in my voice and at first a little tear but I am OK now.
I know it is OK to cry, but to be honest there is nothing to cry over yet. I have a crap diagnosis, yes, but that is all. Until I know for sure I might actually die from it I will put the doom and gloom in a box and put it away. No one needs it right now, least of all me.
It has been a week since diagnosis and I feel oddly calm about it all. Yes I have moments of anxiety but mostly it is OK. I think it is because, apart from the lump, there is nothing to see. I am in no pain, there is no wound. I feel well. I have continued to work and live as normal. Just every now and again I have a moment where I can’t think. This is nothing new but just seems more frequent.
The only different thing has been the perpetual lump monitoring. A month is a long time to wait but it will pass quickly enough. I won’t get the full diagnosis until 10th September when they give you the stage and possibly spread. My fingers are crossed for low numbers where the stage thing is concerned.
On a positive note I starting to get stuff done around the house to prepare for me not doing much and also welcoming visitors. I am getting a new bath out of it and a new mattress for the spare room where I will sleep until I can lie on my side again. I snore terribly on my back.