Wednesday, December 5, 2007

A closed chapter?

Yesterday morning mum and I had to go back to the hospital for the results of the biopsy. She was supposed to have got them while she was in hospital and we're not quite sure why they took such a long time, but never mind. Anyway, after a long wait in the waiting area where we had to endure someone else's entire cancer history (boy was she loud!), we were seen by one of the surgeons who'd performed the operation. I'd already spoken to her on the day of the operation, when she rang me to say it had gone well, but hadn't met her yet. She was great, I said to mum afterwards, if I ever have to have an operation, I want her two surgeons: one of them was great to look at, the other was really kind ;-)
Well, to cut a long story short: we were told that what they found, was malignant (although we were pretty convinced of that already anyway), but they managed to cut it all out and the lymph nodes that were sent away for analysis, had all come back clean. She did say pancreatic cancer is a nasty cancer, but that this news was the best news they could possibly give her. Mum was just beaming, I had to swallow a big lump straightaway which I managed to contain until later when I rang B. to tell him. All that's left now is regular check-ups, next one in three months' time, with either the surgeon or her own specialist (an 'internist'), and then every 6 months. Not even CT scans, which surprised me, and no chemo therapy or radio therapy. Obviously if she feels unwell she has to come back sooner, but where the medical staff is concerned, there's no need for further treatment.
Mum was just bursting with energy afterwards. She collapsed around 3 pm and then promptly slept for several hours, only got up for supper and later for an hour to watch a bit of James Herriott.
This morning I'll be taking her back to her own house. She can still get very tired, but on the whole she's beginning to feel well enough to do a few things for herself again. I'm also meeting an old friend for lunch and I thought she might feel happier being in her own home rather than on her own in dad's house. I'll drop in on her on my way home tonight, to make sure she's okay, and over the next few days I'll take a backseat whilst making sure she's coping alright.
I haven't booked the ferry for Friday yet but have mentioned to the kids that I'll probably see them this weekend. By then it'll have been 3 weeks since I last saw them, and almost 4 weeks since I last saw B. Slowly my focus is changing from making sure mum is okay and can manage without me, to being a mum and girlfriend again. A colleague asked me what I was going to do on Saturday when I have the kids again, and said: 'sit on the sofa with an arm around both of them and just say 'mine mine mine?' which made me laugh but yes, they'll get the biggest hug they've ever had.

Of course we're not sure this is a closed chapter. Yes the tumor was small and yes they caught it early, which is great. But we all know cancer is a horrible and above all unpredictable disease. For now though, it looks like I'll have mum around for a while yet, and it makes me feel very grateful.