Days 7-14 In Limbo
Going home was very emotional as I’d left 6 days earlier not knowing I had cancer and never expecting a stay in hospital. Seeing family, friends and my two dogs was wonderful but at the same time very sad as I was having to break the news to them of what was happening. Even the dogs seemed to know that things had changed and life wasn’t the same right now, our routine had abruptly stopped. I chose not to tell many people and news of my condition was on a ‘need to know’ basis, I just didn’t want to have calls or questions. In hindsight I’m not sure this made it easier or harder for my immediate family as I was restricting them from sharing what was happening to me but of course, was also affecting them. The business I was running became irrelevant and I closed it. Having used social media daily I ceased all posts and literally shut down everything. At this point I had no idea where things would go. I was to have major surgery in 8 days, that was it, out of my control. What would happen next was the unknown and so I had deal with the here and now and the business felt very much in the past. Also, I didn’t want to speak to anyone outside of immediate family and friends so there was no way I would be tweeting my experience at that time. I suppose looking back it was a kind of limbo, the days waiting for surgery were the only time I actually had cancer, prior to that it hadn’t existed to me. Now I was having to wait for it to be taken out, along with a kidney that I suddenly felt rather attached to. The wait wasn’t made easier by the pain I was in. During the 8 days I was home I continued with my diary which had been started in order to remember detail of what was happening to me and I’d continued to help me make sense of it. Things I recorded included sleep patterns, painkiller amounts, snow falling, my daughters 21st, what I ate, visitors and tears. I also made accounts of having to tell family and friends the truth about my hospital stay and the other visit that was looming. Until then no-one knew that I had cancer and telling others made it more real. My dreams at this time were surreal and may have been made more colourful by the cocktail of drugs I was taking. A lot of what I wrote at this time concerned family and how I felt, these words will remain private and reading back over them almost transports me back to that time, so difficult for all of us. A couple of days before the surgery my husband took me for my pre-op at Good Hope. This was my first trip outside since leaving hospital and it was lovely to be out in the car. The pre op involved answering a list of questions about my general health and personal info, addresses etc. I had blood tests, an ECG and was weighed and measured – apparently I had the pulse of an 18 year old! The night before I was feeling a bit sick and unwell but this was probably nerves, I’ve written in my diary ‘I really enjoyed my last supper’ Haha I’m not sure I was full of confidence at this point! To use a cliche the last week had been a rollercoaster of emotions, not only mine. My family had loved and cared for me whilst dealing with the worry and uncertainty of my condition. I’d seen friends break down on hearing my news, I’d even had one offering me her kidney! I’d closed my business and dropped out of my routine quite comfortably, nothing else seemed important at the time. One more sleep and I’d say hello to Heartlands again and goodbye to cancer (and a kidney). The wait was over.