Saturday, 6 December 2014

Dealing with anger

Throughout my entire cancer 'journey' I haven't felt angry or even particularly sad. Until this weekend that is. I had my first annual mammogram on Thursday. Last year when I was diagnosed, I went private. During my mammogram, the radiographer reviewed my scan there and then, told me I had three lumps, one of which was worrying, and that I had to go for a biopsy the following day. In the NHS, I was extremely surprised to learn that the person doing the mammogram is not trained to read the scan and that there is a FIVE WEEK waiting time for it to be reviewed by a radiographer. This now means that I am set for another horrible, stressful Christmas. This for someone reason has unleashed in me a complete fury! I am absolutely enraged and have so far shouted at both my parents and my husband. Three days later and I am still furious. I have even told my husband to tell people not to tell me to 'be positive' as although they are entirely well meaning, I don't think I can bear to hear that the odds are good (they're pretty terrible), to put it out of my mind (I wish I could but I can't), that everything will be all right (it hasn't been so far) or that of course I should have known that you have to wait for results like they did for their *insert random body part here* test (I feel like five weeks for a wrist X-ray is tolerable, but five weeks to see if you are going to live or die is intolerable). So this isn't the most positive of posts. I do feel though that at least if you know what to expect, you can mentally prepare yourself for the length of the wait. I also think that it's not the most terrible idea in the world to give calm, positive, brave Amanda a few, well deserved days off. Anger is unpleasant for the person experiencing it and the people who have to bear the brunt of it, but it's far healthier to express it than to bottle it up. So let it out, and the people you love will understand. And if you can afford it, do what Debbie and I did, and ease the pressure at a relaxing spa day!!


I haven't had my follow up mammogram yet, I've been told that mine will be in February which means it will be 14 months after diagnosis.
Unlike Amanda's well meaning (but not really) friends, I actually do know how she must be feeling.
I can't say to her 'don't worry' or 'put it out of your mind' because I know in two months that I'm going to be in the same situation as her and waiting a possible five weeks for the results of my first mammogram post breast cancer/chemo.
Only people who have been in our situation can truly know how we feel. It's not just waiting around five weeks for results, actually we've got to live this for the rest of our days.
Before BC, any aches and pains were brushed off as exactly what they were, just aches and pains. Now with every ache and pain comes that shadow of doubt.
Amanda and I have both agreed that actually, we both feel really well, we both look really well and cancer/chemo is becoming a distant memory. And then we're thrown back into 'that life', routine reviews and mammograms and it all becomes real again.
I do think that for any woman who has been through breast cancer/chemo, we should be able to have our mammogram results quicker. Again, until you have been through it then how can people possibly understand how anxious and sick the waiting makes you feel?

Not happy to be waiting, but I am waiting