Oh God it’s cancer. At least we know. After weeks of tests showing normal this definitely isn’t.
We head back to the lift. I’m glad of the lift. I don’t think I could manage the stairs. Could we speak to the cancer nurse please? She arrives, just about to end her shift but full of understanding and with a compassion that is both personal and professional so manages to reassure without patronising.
I once saw a counsellor. I wanted to scream at her when she started speaking in a sing songy voice and telling me she understood. Really? I’ve never had time for them since, although I know one or two socially and I can only guess they are excellent.
I digress. I don’t want to be counselled and I know Husband won’t either. Cancer nurse is to the point: “Cancer is a bastard”. But they have clever drugs. “Rituximab isn’t a magic bullet but it’s pretty close”.
As the minutes go on the dingy little room seems less dingy and the atmosphere calm rather than threatening. We’re given some more leaflets and a Cancer Cook Book to borrow as long as we like – with helpful information on nutrients and different foods to tempt Husband when he feels too sick to eat. Mmm. It also has cancer in big letters on the front to helpfully tell all and sundry as you pass by. Thank goodness I carry a large bag – we’re not ready to be telling people yet.
Husband asks nurse to make a note on his file that they can speak to me as if I were him. We each signed a letter to this effect for our medical records with our GP partly so that if we’re waiting for results or needing to make an appointment and we’re out when they call we don’t have to wait any longer than necessary. It also means that if one of us is away or doesn’t feel up to a phone call the other can do it. We thought it might just make life easier but we didn’t realise how useful it would be.
Husband drives home and then asks if I’ll drive the last half mile so that he can walk the dog. I suspect he needs to breathe, maybe to cry. I shove a hankie in his hand and drive off, leaving him to the care of our loving and enthusiastic canine.
(Sidenote – apparently hankie was unnecessary 🙂 ).