A few days ago I took my persistently swollen groin gland to my GP. I’ve been his patient for the past 27 years and having fought through my first ovarian cancer battle with me, he’s generally cautious about any ache and pain with which I show up.
So I wasn’t surprised when he ordered a small battery of blood tests. I did get nervous when he called to see me about the results yesterday.
The Reluctant Visit
A friend offered to come with me. In hindsight I‘m very glad I conceded because my mind darted throughout that consultation and afterwards I had to ask about some of the doctor’s statements. He’d delivered the news gently but it’s difficult to receive a grand piano from the wrong end of a flight of stairs – ask Daffy Duck. The tumour marker (blood test) had yielded a count of 418. Now, everyone has cancerous cells but the body mostly keeps these in check to a generally accepted count of 35 or under. There was definitely something amiss.
I went home in a disbelieving daze. I mostly succeeded in suppressing the panic while I put supper together and watched tv for distraction. Every now and then something I saw reminded me of what I’d lose – my strength, my hair, my energy, my priorities and goals. It felt worse than a fear of the unknown; it was having to go through it again knowing what to expect. Had I not done it properly the first time?!