Thankfully for me, and in no small measure for you too, no doubt, my funk has lifted and the world appears a bit brighter today. Theo is back to full health and I’ve another reason to be cheerful.

Here’s why.

There’s a dodgy sales tactic whereby you go to buy a widget and you think it’ll cost $100, the salesman says it costs $1,000 and you’re outraged, so he says ‘I’ll give it to you for $500’ and you feel relieved, even though it’s $400 more than you wanted to pay.

It’s a bit like that for me today.

I’ve found out that my right nipple can be spared without badly compromising the overall cosmetic appearance of my reconstruction. By the way does being reconstructed make me the bionic women? Maybe. Anyway they won’t be perfectly symmetrical, the scars won’t be in the same place, the nipples won’t look the same but it’s not oncologically dangerous and keeping Pinky in place is a crumb of comfort  I’ll take right about now.

Isn’t being miserable boring? I’m very conscious I’ve been spraying misery all over the place like some mad toxic sprinkler system. You back yourself into a corner and there’s nothing anyone can say. But of course my grief is legitimate and understandable but, let’s face it, more than a bit boring.

Another small mercy is today is the first day this week that hasn’t involved a long drive north to meet a specialist. This allows a sense of normalcy to pervade the day and I know, now, to cherish that.

Back up the coast tomorrow to meet my anaesthetist. The appointment was made on my behalf by my cancer surgeon Dr. Leong, who we met again yesterday. Dr. Leong will perform stage one of my op (sparing Pinky) and then the plastic surgeon Dr. Moko will take over. It was a full on meeting with talk of node biopsies, a description of the pathology of my breast tissue, the possibility that microinvasive cancers may be found  and a reiteration of the risks associated with my surgery. More of the yes doctor, no doctor business. More paperwork. More snorts of disappointment as I pay for the treatment.*

As we leave, Dr. Leong says “Try and rest over the weekend and I will see you Monday. My practice manager will tell you when she’s teed up the time for you to meet the anaesthetist, Dr. Crilly.”

Ted and I steal a quick glance at one another before biting our lips and looking away. We manage to keep it together til we get into the lift when we start hooting with laughter.

We call each other Ted after Father Ted… whose surname is Crilly. What are the odds?

*I am incandescent with (no doubt carcinogenic) rage at the inadequacies of my health fund’s contributions for this whole clusterfuck, but that’s another post.

5 Comments on Perking up

  1. Hey Sam – just wanted to say I don’t think you’re ‘spraying misery all over the place’ at all. In fact, quite the opposite. I think the way you’re sharing this journey so openly and facing up to this horrible situation with bravery, honesty and humour is hugely inspiring. It helps put everything else back in perspective and remember what really matters in life. Sending lots of love and hoping that Ted Crilly turns out to be a good anaesthetist! xx

  2. Even if you do spread misery so what? Cancer is not something to be brave and well mannered about. You need to do whatever is necessary to get through this and I’m sure that is what your friends expect to support you with. If ever there was a time to be selfish this is it. X

  3. I agree with all 3 above comments – I think your attitude is amazing. Like I said you made me feel better the other day… the way, I have 2 USB sticks here, loaded with choice 80’s and 90’s Brit tunes – I should drop them into you and you can load them onto your iphone over the weekend xx

  4. I totally agree with Mark – there’s no way you are spraying misery all over the place. Your posts are amazing – it is such a great thing to write about such difficult, bloody awful things with such honesty and clarity. It really shines a light. There is such power and light in the truth, even when it’s uncomfortable, and I feel really honoured to be reading your blog. Thank you. I’m thinking of you and seeing you completely well and recovering very quickly. Lots of love xxx