As Pats and I left the hospital, all I kept thinking was how on earth am I going to tell my Mum and Dad? My poor Mum had been through so much heartache and worry about my Dad and sister’s health these last few years and here I was about to go and hit her with another shocker.
I knew they would have been worrying so I called them straight away in the car on the way back home. ‘How do I start this one off then?!’ I nervously asked Pats.
‘Hi Mum, it’s Allie,’ I could hear the anticipation and worry in her voice as she answered the phone. ‘It’s not great news….but it could also be a lot worse’, I said. ‘Right…’, my Mum’s voice shakily replied down the other end of the line. ‘It is the dreaded c word I’m afraid – but it’s small, it’s stage one, grade one and I’ve caught it early which is all positive. They’re going to do a lumpectomy to remove the lump and because it’s low grade I’ll only need radiotherapy not chemotherapy which is another positive.
My Mum’s voice started trembling, I pictured her poor face at the other end of the phone, undoubtedly trying to keep it together for me, with god knows what thoughts going through her head. Nobody ever wants to hear those words from a loved one, especially not a parent from their child.
I explained about the anti hormone treatment that I’d be on for five years, but that there was a possibility that they could harvest my eggs for freezing and that they were referring us to a fertility specialist.
When I’d first told my Mum I needed to speak to her after that initial screening session, she said she’d thought I was ringing her to tell her that I was pregnant. They were anticipating grandparents waiting in the wing, how different this all now looked for all our hopes and dreams.
I thought I’d cry on the phone but I actually felt very calm and assured and also defiant, the fight had started – this b@stard wasn’t going to win!
I proceeded to call my sister, Tara and Lou who I knew would have all been chewing their fingers off with worry. ‘It’s the best out of a shit situation’, Lou said. I liked that – it wasn’t ideal, obviously, but boy it could have been a whole lot worse. Tara as usual, after some serious talking began taking the p*ss and making jokes about how I could end up with a better set of boobs. She made me laugh the way she always does, somehow making it all seem ok.
Tara and I had had a spa weekend away together already booked and were due to meet up the very next day. She lives in Scotland so we very rarely get to spend quality time with one another so had planned to meet up half way between us in a place called Hope in the Peak District. She said she’d understand if I didn’t want to go, if I wanted to go with Pats instead, or even if Pats wanted to come with us. I still wanted to go, I’d been so looking forward to it, and I think it would do me the world of good.
After I’d got home and Pats had poured me a very large glass of wine, I called my friend Debs to let her know and also spoke to my dear old pal Tina. By then I’d had enough of telling the bad news and worrying people who cared for me.
Pats and I sat in the garden having a drink together. We hugged and kissed each other and spoke only in a positive and upbeat way – it was the only option.