PostHeaderIcon SARCOMA Part three

SARCOMA! Cont’d.
Part three

Chris arrived home to our appropriate greeting parties. It was great to have his brand of irreverent humour present again. He entertains us and we look after him in return. Christmas was lively with all the family together most of the time. Then Holly’s fifth birthday was celebrated with a party for friends and family, thirty-five in all. Caroline and Scott employed a clown who was a great success with the children. I had this cloud over me constantly...what was going on in my right lung? I remained cheerful as was my mission, masking the strain that I felt inside.

The day of the CT scans arrived, and Katy once more accompanied me to the hospital. Again I was prepared with drink and canula. I was reading as I waited the due time to elapse when I heard a voice saying, ‘Doreen!’ It was Scott trundling a bed-ridden patient to her X-ray. ‘Have you had your scan yet?’ he asked over a few seated heads. I shook my head and he wished me luck as he wheeled the lady on. There was no reaction to the further injection per the canula or to the special, sickening drink. Scans were done of the pelvis, abdomen and thorax. A nurse who came to check on me became interested in my life’s story and I briefly gave it to her! How nice! She gave me a hug as she left, having been summoned by another nurse. Again, the treatment was unarguably satisfactory.

I drove home the next morning, trying to rid my mind of thoughts of the result of all this activity. Susan insisted on taking me to see the oncologist on the Friday...the 13th! We waited anxiously, and were first to be called into the surgery. He shook my hand, saying, ‘Jodie showed me your book ‘Sex in Your Seventies’. There was an order form in it...’
‘Oh, I have one for you too,’ said I, perhaps pre-empting him, as I produced the volume from my handbag, and gave it to him. He thanked me, met Susan and straight away said, ‘Well, there was no change in that spot on your lung. Now that is very good news. We’ll just do a further scan in six months’ time. If that one is unchanged, you are in the clear. And the arm...’ He felt around my elbow, the axilla, the forearm. ‘No lumps?’ he queried. None. ‘Of course, if you notice any lumps, you will report in to your doctor.’
‘What are the chances of a recurrence?’ I was compelled to ask.
‘Twenty to thirty per cent, which is not too bad.’
‘No, not too bad at all.’ I did not pursue the matter further, having been told previously what the next step would be should that occur. I did not want to hear it again. I thanked Sandro, the oncologist, for his kindness and attention.

Due arrangements were made for me to see the surgeon, who had referred me, I paid my account, and we left. My step was decidedly lighter as we made our way along the hall to the lift, in silence.
‘Well there you are!’ Susan said, ‘You can now get on with your life!’ Humbly I agreed. We called on Caroline who supplied morning tea in her usual proficient manner. We were all somewhat restrained in our relief, not daring to tempt fate or something.

We arrived home, Susan kissed me goodbye and I made for my bedroom. I flung myself on my knees in supplication by the bed, repeating, ‘Thank you, thank you...’ And I meant it. There were tears. Then there seemed to be anticlimax. I spent the afternoon quietly, too quietly in my solitude, a bit sad, pensive in the extreme. But I forged ahead with my chores.

Then the front door bell pealed. It was Chris, bottle of champagne in hand. ‘G’day Mum,’ he said, ‘I phoned Caroline at lunchtime, heard the good news! I thought it was definitely worth a celebration! Susan and Davey are hot on my heels!’ As I ushered him in, they appeared in the drive. ‘Where are the glasses?’

It was just right. The four of us toasted my good health and many more years of it, as we sat around the round table and raised our glasses. It was absolutely wonderful to be alive!