Is the cancer back?

Yesterday I had three missed calls from my mum on my mobile and no voicemail or text. Whenever that happens my immediate thought is which of my grandfolks are in trouble but yesterday I was taken completely by surprise. When I eventually got to speak to mum (we had an event at work which meant it was an hour or so) it wasn’t good news. Well, in some regards it was good news because there was nothing wrong with Gran or Grandad…but that morning they’d received a call from the hospital asking Dad to come in and see his consultant immediately to get the results of the routine scan he’d had a couple weeks ago.

I’ve written about Dad’s illness before and the relief felt by all of us when he was eventually given the all clear last December. To be honest I still consider it nothing short of miraculous that my Dad has survived for so long and that he finally got to become a grandad (a big wish for him). So the last 18 hours or so have been limbo land, his appointment is at 11am and we’ll know more after. I’m guessing there are three possible scenarios:

1) The scan shows the tumour is back and/or there are secondary tumours elsewhere – this may or may not be treatable

2) The scan is inconclusive – Dad had a massive operation and several pre-op procedures, his consultant in Plymouth always said that the scarring would make it near impossible for anyone else to interpret scan results

3) The consultant is being efficient and/or admin was inefficient and this is a routine appointment that someone forgot to book or inform Dad about

Yesterday there was lots of conjecture about possibilities and lots of Libbie cuddles too. The consultant that has asked to see him is the one in Torbay hospital (where he had chemo and surgery for an abscess and treatments for MRSA poisoning) not Derriford (where he had most of the cancer treatment and all his surgery). The fact it’s his Torbay consultant not Derriford somehow makes me feel a little easier – but I’ve no idea why.

The challenge for me today is to sit and wait to hear news. Throughout Dad’s treatment I’ve been heavily involved, I took him and mum up to the hospital the very first time for his first ever scan (to save the hassle of trying to find a parking space) and that was the first change in our relationship. It is very odd to try and support your parents when you’re still their child but it must be even harder for them to rely on their kids…well it is for mine, although they’re very appreciative. I’m sitting here this morning hoping that this is all a storm in a teacup and by lunchtime we’ll be able to move on with life – although between you and I I’m not convinced. We’ll see. Dad has requested that he goto the appointment on his own, well with mum, but not me – this is kinda a hard pill to swallow! I know it’s Dad’s illness and I know I have no choice but to agree to his request but I’m not sure how much information they’ll remember/process/hear on their own. Having said that if I was getting bad news I’m not sure I’d want to receive it in front of one of my kids either.

Luckily I have company so am not spending the next three hours alone, even better I have my fabulous mates over on twitter who have been so supportive already – big thank you to you all. In addition my colleagues yesterday were exactly what I needed – it’s times like that when the shit is about to hit the fan that you appreciate having supportive colleagues. So I’ll sit and try to cull some emails this morning, I’ll ponder all three possibilities and hope that it is nothing. It’s hard to believe that the cancer might be back when my dad spent the last two weeks tarmacing and laying a driveway with my brother! I’ll keep you posted.

Dad and Libbie yesterday

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