a word of advise : if you ever go see an oncologist, and you enter a room with comfortable chairs as opposed to basic office style chairs, hold on tight, cos shit is going to get heavy.
after a pretty intense couple of weeks over the christmas period we were summoned to see our oncologist to discuss the results of the ct scan.
the scan did indeed reveal a new lump on bh’s lungs, but not only that, there are abnormalities in some lymph nodes.
so, given the fact bh has only just come off the swinging baseball bat chemotherapy they believe that such ‘treats’ indicate we are now into stage 4 of cancer, and due to the physical impact surgery and chemo had on bh there is no further treatment possible.
in other words, bh has less than a year to live and so we now have to start dealing with the palliative care support services.
to say it was a massive headf*ck of an hour in that room would be an understatement.
en route back to hq, we called in at a bistro pub and had a drink. tears flowed and we both looked like the world had collapsed in on us. it was very clear we spoiled several peoples quiet lunch hour with our heavy grey cloud,
but everything so far was a mere walk in the park in comparison as to what we had to do next.
basically, over the drink, we decided that we should tell the kids.
trust me, we were tempted to just get on a plane and f*ck off round the world and wait for the evil lump to do its worst, however, seeing as we have responsibilities this idea was put to bed very quickly.
back at hq having had a glass of red for nerves, we got the kids to come into the kitchen and told them the situation.
to say i literally saw the heart of a bouncy, vibrant, life loving 8 year old boy break in front of my eyes would be an understatement.
to date, that was the hardest/worst thing i have ever had to do.
mk1 was a lot more detached and reserved about it, as i suspect he has been picking up on the signals and so has a deeper understanding as to whats going on, but for mk2, it was a massive dose of intensity for him.
probably all the more so, as several times over the christmas break he had been telling us how excited he was now that bh was no longer having chemo, and so she would soon be better (this was the main reason we decided to be upfront about the situation, as we did not want him to be under any false illusion).
the next few days i have very little recollection of. i drank a lot of wine. cried a lot. hugged bh a lot, but slowly the dust settled.
we gradually told various friends and family, in fact, by the fourth time i could feel a sense of auto-pilot kicking in giving the whole thing a sense of distance as i could say the relevant words, but not feel the emotional impact any longer.
the kids went back to school (mk2 got his bounce back after a few days, thereby proving just how resiliant the human spirit can be in such times), meaning bh and i started to make the most my extended ‘sick’ leave by visiting hidden corners of our idyllic corner of the country, partaking in the lunch time pint ritual (i have been sat in various offices for the last 20 years of my life between the hours of 8 and 5, so this was very unusual perk .. ), and generally, soaking up the best of days.
but eventually reality hits, and we decided it was best to try and get some degree of normality back into our lives, so bh is in the process of getting back to work, while i started yesterday after 6 weeks out. the longest time off i have ever had.
bh has another ct scan in a few weeks to try and ascertain a little more as to whats going on, as she has recovered well from the chemotherapy, has got her appetite back and food tastes as it should, meaning we currently have a sense of ‘normal’ life.
long may such normality continue.
soundtrack : bbc 6 music, bbc five live, bbc radio 2