I really hesitated before I fired up the laptop about this gang but I’ve always said I’ll be honest. So here goes. Yesterday I went to the Royal Free Hospital to get the results of my latest MRI scan. Well actually it was to hug my specialist nurse Amina who has returned from leave and looks FABULOUS. It was also to meet my new Consultant – haven’t pecked him on cheek yet but we got on and did the Essex girl/vagazzle joke so its only a matter of time I feel. Then get the results. You’ll remember that this was my “two year since being officially cancer free” one. You’ll also remember that anal cancer, if it’s going to return, will do so statistically within two years?
When you’re in that office you tend to watch every gesture, analyse every pause and word so when someone says “well its all looking good on the original site” you kind of know what’s coming. Sure enough I was shown a shadow on the screen. Then from a different angle (and if you’ve never seen an MRI scan of your big bum from that angle let me tell you it’s an incentive for gym membership).
Now I had some surgery in Spring in that general area and the scarring in the initial site is still settling but – it could be the tail I mentioned in “The Single Lantern”. That’s a possibility.
So this is what’s happening. On Tuesday I’m having a PET scan. I don’t think I’ve mentioned this distant relative of Professor Zappy. It’s kind of weird. You turn up and someone solemnly brings in a container which contains radioactive glucose. You lay down and they inject you with it through a cannula. You keep very still while it whizzes round your body. You keep still for an hour. It’s like the bit in a facial where you wait for the face pack to work and listen to tinkly music except there’s not usually any music. Normally just as you’re nodding off they rouse you and you go to the scanner which is like a smaller, flash version of an MRI machine. It’s quieter too. I bet it has go faster stripes and a spoiler only I’ve never looked. It’s simple genius really. Cancer cells get very excited by glucose so they light up as they react to it. (This fits in nicely with my “cancer is a bitchy female” theory. “Oooh sweeties yummy!”) Then you go home and try not to have much contact with anyone for a while because you’re radioactive. I’ve had three of these and still haven’t received my Super Hero application form.
Obviously we’re hoping it’s nothing. Obviously it might be something. So we wait while people peer at computer screens. It’s a bit of a wait due to NHS funding (*Ben Elton in 80s face*) and me wanting to wait until my nurse is on duty because I really, really want her holding my hand when we get the results. If the cancer has returned, it’s been spotted quickly so the plan is we bitch slap it out of existence with a short course of radiotherapy.
It’s an odd feeling that’s hard to describe. It’s always in your peripheral vision. I think even after years of getting the all clear it would be. Now it’s right up in my face again with all the anticipation and the frankly horrible phone calls when you can hear your loved ones’ thought processes whirring away and you’re both being cheery and positive but you want to hold them tight and fast forward until you can say “it’s ok” and see them grin again.
So we have a bit of waiting to do. Listen, after that news I’m sure you could all use a drink – I’ll go to the bar. So that’s wine, lager and a couple of gins. Crisps anyone?