Friday, 28 August 2009

Where is the emergency stop button?

I don't suppose anyone thinks they are going to be told that they have breast cancer. I didn't. I am 41 years old, I don't have any family history, I don't smoke and have no previous problems. Then one day I woke up and things just didn't seem quite right. I knew that there was a problem straightaway. From the look on my GP's face ... and that of the Breast Cancer Consultant ... and then the Ultrasound Consultant ... and finally the way the receptionist greeted me at the Breast Care Unit when I returned for my results.

Having said that, nothing prepares you for the moment that you walk in to the consulting room, and before you arse hits the chair, you are told that "The lump is cancerous". The room spins and the voices sound similar to Charlie Brown's teacher ... you can hear them but they make no sense. Blah, blah, blah. You only make out the occasional words - cancer; malignant; chemotherapy; radiotherapy; herceptin; surgery; mastectomy; lumpectomy; personalised treatment; hair loss; wigs.

You look up and think that this cannot be happening. It feels like you are on a huge, scary rollercoaster ... and I hate rollercoasters. I want to hit the emergency stop button and calmly walk off ... but sadly this rollercoaster does not have an emergency stop button.


  1. hi red shoes, I love reading your blogs and we have written to eachother before. Unfortunately, I rather stumble on your diary than navigate it - my ineptitude entirely! - which is why I'm not on here often. How did your secondary bc. come back? Did you have any symptons beforehand that something wasnt right? Congrats. on going back to work - as much as we moan having to get up for work when we can no longer do it, we miss it as its part of normality. I wish you strength and happiness. Ann

  2. Hi Ann - thank you for tuning in. I was diagnosed with primary cancer in August 2009 and have just finished treatment for that. Thankfully my health practioners are really pleased with my results and everything looking very positive at the moment. BW - Paula

  3. Hi Paula - just thought I'd say Hi as requested! Sneaking onto your Blog then leaving without saying a word felt bit like peeking into somebody's well lit window when you walk past - then ignoring them when they wave at you!

    I came along from your link on the forums on the site where I've just registered. My mum (who's just turned 70) was diagnosed with BC yesterday. Hopefully it's been caught early and she'll be fine.

    Wishing you luck and joy every day

  4. Hello, just beginning to read your blog, started the wrong way round hope i can comtinue chronologically now...Have tears in my eyes. I am on that roller coaster, well on chemo now, still trying to come to terms with what is, and what might, happen to me..I do enjoy a laugh throughout all this though, usually very dark humour..
    good luck

  5. AG - I am sorry I have just come across your comment. I hope things are going as well could be expected. I hope you can take inspiration and hope from my blog. This time last year I felt so low and lonely - I couldn't imagine where I would be a year ahead. But I am here and things are going well. I am not complacent - I am grateful.


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