Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Day After Breast Cancer Day

Well, I wasn't really worried, but I'm very glad, all the same, to report that there is no sign of anything alarming on mammogram or ultrasound, and that Suzanne has given me the all-clear. It's quite a business. The mammogram is somewhat more painful on the site of the scarring, and the ultrasound (sonogram) sensor presses in quite hard and insistently on and around the area of my surgery, so it's hard not to be reminded of the initial scan, just over two years ago, when the technician went over and over the same area without saying a word. I remember when I left the room, he had frozen the screen on this big black cloud in the middle. Even if it wasn't my tumour, I still had that image in mind till I saw my doctor the next day. But I was pretty sure it was cancer, anyway, from the discovery of the very first dimple.

But that was a different hospital. The breast unit where I have all my treatment is run by a series of ministering angels. Every single person who works there is wonderful. The first thing the radiologist said when she came in to do the scan was to say that the x-rays were clear. And once she had had a good look, she told me then, too, that the ultrasounds were clear too.

So by the time I saw Suzanne, I was calm, with my mind at ease. As usual, we talked first about what it meant to be in the world before we talked about my health. Or at least, we began with my saying how hard it was to be in the university sector at the moment. But we ended by agreeing that if you love the work you do, and have your health, it's important, and good, to focus on that work, not the extraneous things if you can help it. This reminds me to keep working away at the things I love best about my job, while I can still do it.

For the first time she raised the possibility of some reconstructive surgery, but my case is so marginal it's hard to imagine it being worth it. I honestly forget about my slight lopsidedness once I'm dressed. And if other people notice or mind, too bad!

Anyway, I'm calling that two years down, with three years to go of my current treatment regime. Hooray!!

And in fact, when I got to work, our Middle English reading group had planned a special lunchtime meeting, for timetabling reasons, and because we are reading Havelok, we had a Danish feast. We had a number of different cheeses, some fantastic fresh dark rye bread Andrew had driven miles to buy, homemade coleslaw, some liver paté, with chopped up bacon to sprinkle over the top, lots of smoked salmon, three (count them: three) different kinds of herrings (I've never eaten them, but started with some in a wonderful mustard sauce, and am now converted), and some crispbread. Plus strong coffee, rum balls and what we call Danish pastries. I asked Annemarie, our Danish admin. assistant, to come in and authenticate and taste our food. She was somewhat dismissive of our pastries, I'm afraid, but approved of the bread and herrings and cheese and salami.

I took some photos, but had the phone switched to take only tiny photos. Here they are, anway:


4 comments:

David Thornby said...

Congratulations -- good news that's anticipated is still very good news indeed.

And...could it be possible that Danish danishes are even better than all the danishes I have loved so much to date? If so, I'm off!

Stephanie Trigg said...

Thanks, David! Yes, I'm still quietly pleased and smiling today.

Wonder what they do eat as pastries...

Anonymous said...

Clare Monagle here, and so happy to hear your news, and to say how much I appreciated your earlier post about the taxpayer funding for private schools, I couldn't agree more.

frog said...

Lovely, lovely news. Keep well.