“The biopsies have both come back cancerous,” I text Seb when we arrive home from hospital last night. “Have to have MRI then other scans to see if it has spread. Oh dear.”
My phone rings. It’s him.
“Hi darling,” I say, so happy that he’s called.
“Are you ok?” He says, his mellifluous voice music to my blocked ears.
“Am fine,” I say, because it’s what we were expecting. Well, we were expecting the bump above the scar line to be cancer. The kraken wakes. It moves under my skin.
“Thank you for calling,” I say. “But we’ve just settled down to dinner. Is it OK if we speak tomorrow?”
“I’ll call tomorrow,” he says.
So today I will talk to him. Maybe he will bring his next visit forward. Want to see him and cuddle him.
So: the two cancer sites means that the lobular cancer has a blood supply. It wasn’t meant to cross the scar line into the new skin, which after all comes from my back. Fingers crossed that it hasn’t travelled anywhere else. These invisible monsters could be anywhere.
“We need to do an MRI and then all the other scans,” my surgeon says, last night. She’s wearing a black knee-length skirt and black riding boots and a grey top and black jacket. Her black hair shines.
“But I had a bone scan, PET scan and mammogram in September before the last operation and they were all clear,” I say.
“Your oncologist will recommend that we do them again,” she says, her eyes kind.
“I was expecting the bump above the scar to be cancer, but I’m surprised about the one in the middle of Engelbert,” I say.
“Me too,” she says. “It means that this lobular cancer is very aggressive and…well…I’m not going to recommend surgery until we see what else we’re dealing with.”
“Poor Engelbert,” I say, feeling sad for him. “He died in vain.”
“Well you can grow another one, if necessary,” she says. “You took to that very well.”
“My plastic surgeon will be upset that all that new skin we grew on Engelbert has become invaded by cancer,” I say.
“So if it’s cancer, why didn’t it show up on the ultrasound,” Mum says.
“The ultrasound can’t see lumps very close to the surface of the skin,” my surgeon says, smoothing her long, silky hair away from her face.
This is just what happened last time, I think. Just as my mood came up and I started forging ahead with projects, dating and socialising, the cancer turned up and had to have treatment.
“Oh, I’ve got an infection,” I say. “Please may I have some antibiotics?”
“Of course,” she says.
“I should’ve asked last week,” I say. “I always get an infection when you make holes in me. Just forgot and…”
“It’s not too bad,” she says, looking at the redness on my chest.
“I brought that magnetic device, in case you need to remove some fluid from the implant,” Mum says, reaching into the bowels of her handbag, pulling out the magnet.
“Is Wednesday alright to have the MRI? We can’t waste any time,” my surgeon says, filling out a scan form.
“That’s great,” I say.
“She likes to go to the office on Monday and Tuesday,” Mum says.
So that’s where we are. Also, need to extricate self from MediaChap. Is a message OK or do I put us both through the trauma of a face-to-face meeting. Or do I just ignore his messages. Can’t deal with him at the moment.