The Scream


So yesterday I got the call.

And despite the fact that I had obviously been expecting it and trying really hard to be nonchalant about it all…. is it okay to say that my heart sunk into my toes (yip, even into the one with the missing toenail)?

I was calmly asked by the radiation bunker booking administrator ( with no ounce of impending mirth or sarcasm)if I could start my treatment today (yesterday) or tomorrow (today).

WHAT? (I had been politely waiting for her to gleefully add “hee hee GOTCHA”)!

So when THAT didn’t happen, I immediately responded rather forcefully, or rather more accurately I bumbled on about something to do with: checking-with-my-plastic-surgeon–it-was-not-six-weeks-since-surgery-I-thought-I-would-be-seeing-the-Oncologist-first-I-am-still-battling-with-post-op-lymphoedema-I-will-have-to-get-signed-permission-from-a-parent…….. (all obviously meaning – NO! NO! NO! I am not prepared at all!).

Luckily I was on my way to my physio appointment, and fortunately for me Gillian is ALWAYS able to calm me down to a milder state of panic….

Just as she did last week after my inking episode; she sat me down and stated: “oh dear what has you so spooked today?” Now I pride myself on the fact that I am a closed book and generally being an emotionally stable person I am able to keep my feelings pretty much to myself. BUT that was before I met Gillian. She knows ALL the tricks of the trade and it’s scary the things she knows without you having to open your mouth, or rather the things she knows despite the fact that you have opened your mouth! I suppose 9 months of seeing me at least every second week has given her some insight to how my body and my psyche react under stress. She calls it “my deer in the headlights look”.

She listened patiently as I verbalized my outrage at being phoned this morning and them just expecting me to drop everything and start TODAY, I mean I still have scabs for goodness sake, I have just this week removed the hyperfix dressings AND I have not been to see the Dent Doctor!

I expected her to be as outraged as I was and I must say I was somewhat deflated by her response……….

She completely agreed that I should chat to Dr B’s surgical nurse and see if they are happy that I begin treatment. But she also had a look at my nekked chest and said that I really had nothing to worry about, everything was healing so well and that in her opinion I could have started the next day. (I know, that she knows, just how I brood over these things). She also had other patients who had not seen their Oncologists before starting radiation…

Considering she has to deal with the aftereffects of my radiation and the resulting scar tissue adding to the lymphoedema and the movement of my arm – SHE didn’t seem to have “the deer in the headlight look” – which actually made me feel a whole lot calmer.

So after physio and a call to the surgical sister, I felt more resigned. I was advised to wait a few days for all the scabs to come off completely and ensure the wounds beneath were completely sealed. And considering next week is the 6week mark, I was given the go ahead.

So Monday the glowing begins….


“It is a strange thing, but when you are dreading something, and would give anything to slow down time, it has a disobliging habit of speeding up.” J.K. Rowling

“Hysteria is impossible without an audience. Panicking by yourself is the same as laughing alone in an empty room. You feel really silly.”  Chuck Palahniuk


“I’d love to tell you I had some deep revelation on my way down, that I came to terms with my own mortality, laughed in the face of death, et cetera.

The truth? My only thought was: Aaaaggghhhhh!”  Rick Riordan


“Could be. I’m a pretty dangerous dude when I’m cornered.”
“Yeah,” said the voice from under the table, “you go to pieces so fast people get hit by the shrapnel.”  Douglas Adams


7 thoughts on “The Scream

  1. You hide it all so well, very grateful for Gillian and her ability to help with the perspective we both need at times… Don’t think she realises just what an important role she plays. You will get through this too – just think back to the days when we wondered how you would ever be able to lift your right arm above your head for the radiation treatment… Its all progress, and just think in a few weeks this next step will be behind us too…

    “We decide the first day of our cancer diagnosis whether we are going to be victims or survivors. We decide to muster up all our strength to fight to win. We decide to stay positive and not let cancer define us. We decide how we are going to handle each day. Yes, there are good days and bad days, but our attitudes determine each day. Hold on to your hopes, dreams, faith and determination, and gather strength from your support systems, because in the fight against cancer, we cannot give up.”
    – Ann, Lymphoma Survivor and Founder of The Lymphoma Club –

    “Life can be so difficult at times, but fighting through the pain is so worth it.
    It’s better to feel every kind of emotion than not feel at all.”
    – Demi Lovato –


    • It is truly incredible how much healing has been done and how thankful I am to have the the most amazing people helping us along the way. Thank you for always being there at the end of the day to cheer me up – I love my flowers xxx


  2. I love your wit, I love your fight, I love your ability to process and express things so clearly……I pray that you can take some encouragement from across the oceans knowing that you are loved and thought of and prayed over. You have no idea how much you influence others in a mighty and positive way. We are behind you all the way…………go kick some R butt. xoxo


    • Thank you Jacqui! I appreciate your kind words and for your prayers and thoughts. So glad we have been able to keep in touch after all these years. Hope you are keeping well! Lots of love to you and your family xxx


      • I don’t think true friends ever part, no matter where they go or how often they are able to see each other. The love I have for you is as real today as it was when we were running around your back garden or the pool. xoxo We are all well, thank you. So proud of you Janine.


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