Hope for the best….prepare for the worst

All the time I was in hospital Emma and I had been wanting to see my oncologist. We’d get a plan, a way to fight this, a way to get our teeth into everything. Building up to the day I’d been thinking to myself they’ve done the operation and in the surgeons words “achieved everything they wanted to” so in my head the primary tumour was removed, biopsy’s taken from everywhere and nothing damaged during the operation.

My appointment was first 9am. Walking any distance is still tiring, not painful, it takes it out of you. Walking down the corridor people overtake me (something I’m not used to as it’s usually me walking fast), we just take our time, I take deep breaths as I go filling my lungs (during healing you’re told not to shallow breath, fill your lungs, in through nose and out through your mouth. It calms you down as well and at this point I need to calm down, I can feel my heart racing). Arriving at Specialists Out Patients I let Emma do the talking, I find a chair, the closest chair and sit. Exhale. We wait. {what will they tell me? I hope it’s good news, I know you can never walk out of a first cancer appointment with a spring in your step and a smile on your face. I’d still like not to walk out with tears on my face, more importantly seeing Emma crying with the news. It’ll be ok, we’re in a first world country and the hospital is only up the road, it’s been caught early enough. Medicine now is so advanced}.

My name is called……

Walking into the small room, I see a woman sat down in front of two computer screens. Three purple coloured chairs a closed door on one of the white walls and the usual hospital ceiling tiles. The lady rises and introduces herself, I sit in the seat closest to her, Emma next to me and a nurse in the final chair. The Dr starts talking, I listen. Words, come out, things are said. The look on her face told me all the news I needed to know before I heard anything pass her lips. Watching the words forming I can almost see them coming towards me “it’s…………….not……………an………….easy…………cancer…………all………….we…………can…………….offer…………..is……..palliative…………care……….and…………chemotherapy” {palliative f*cking care!!!! Is she telling me I’m dying, she is, she’s telling me I’m dying isn’t she? All they can do is make me comfortable as I dwindle away as a cancer ridden 36 year old……….how is this happening?} I feel my lungs expand (did I breathe?) {while I have breath in me then I can fight this. How long will that be for? Don’t think that Adam, do not let that enter your head}. Staring at the light switch more words are said, Emma asks the questions, the doctor answers them, I just stare. My arms go hot, my neck sweats, “do you need anything?” {a f*cking cure would be nice…….but that isn’t coming is it? Unless it’s all an elaborate hidden camera show} “some water would be good”.

The doctor and Emma talk, paper is passed over, some writing is done. I speak. “I don’t want to know anything about time until after my first chemotherapy treatment, we don’t know how it’ll respond” “ok, if your sure” {if I’m sure, that’s the worst thing anyone can tell you, I’ve just been told the second worst, f*ck getting both in one day, you need to spread that out or just put me down now like a dog}. “Any other questions?” The Dr asks……I turn to Emma, already seeing her watery eyes, it’s my turn to answer “no, not that I can think of, but I’m not really thinking”.

Standing we leave, Emma starts to cry, I don’t know what to do. I feel water leave my eyes and run down my cheek {stay strong Adam}. I reach out and hold her hand (if I hug her they’ll be 2 grown adults falling to the floor in a heap an the ward sobbing), the nurse who was with us wraps her arms around her. We are shown to a side room to compose ourselves. The nurses sits with us along with my stoma nurse. We talk, again about what I cannot remember. Small talk, big talk, it matters not now all that matters is getting started.

We sit in silence on the journey home, each of us digesting the news. The children are out at the park, how can we break this to them? What would your say? How will a 6 year old take the news? How will a 4 year old take the news? Will the 16 month old even remember me?

We walk into the house, I make my way to the sofa, pull out the leg rest Emma sits next to me and we hug. We cry.

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5 thoughts on “Hope for the best….prepare for the worst

  1. God, I am so heartbroken and angry for you. It seems trite to say, “I’m thinking of you,” or “You are so brave to put all this out there.” But it’s true. I am thinking of you. Of you all. And you are going above and beyond in facing this shitty hand you’ve been dealt.

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  2. Adam, reading this, again at the very hospital that is treating you, again on a break and my heart breaks for you ALL. All I can do is send love and healing thoughts across the ether in the hope that it touches youin some way. Hoping you have positive news from Manchester xx

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  3. You write so well that I am completely pulled in and my world goes quiet around me while I read. My heart breaks all over again for you and Emma. But I have high hopes for this week and your appointment in Manchester. I am picturing Emma updating us with good news xxx

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  4. Adam, I wish this daunting fight is not happening to you! Be strong. I will remember you and your family in my prayers. Pray for a miracle to happen and your body will be healed. For man it may be impossible, but nothing is impossible for God.

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