Posts Tagged ‘dairy’

David Shrigley

We waited nearly a whole week for a more detailed diagnosis. All I knew was I had cancer: how extensive, aggressive or treatable was all a big unknown. This was probably the longest & worst week of my life. Trawling through breast cancer websites & chat forums I convinced myself I had Stage 4 cancer: terminal and untreatable. The aches and pains in my stomach, back, legs & head were undoubtedly cancer and I only had weeks to live. If this was the case, I thought fuck it, I’m going to go out eating cheese and drinking red wine, because in breast cancer world, dairy and alcohol = the devil. Not the healthiest or sanest solution, but being told you have a potentially life threatening disease does weird things to your brain.

My parents went back up to Scotland and I tried to keep myself as busy as possible until D-day. My mother returned the night before my appointment at the Nightingale Centre and we spent the morning avoiding charity chuggers and stock-piling enough food for a year in an Anderson Shelter:

“can you spare some time/money to give to the RSPCA/Shelter/Oxfam/Guide Dogs for the Blind?”

“no I can’t, so f**k OFF, get a hair cut & go get a proper job!”.

Disappointingly I didn’t get to say that, because for the first time, they gave me a very wide berth.

After a week of sleepless nights, I decided I’d rather be knocked out if it was really bad news, so my sympathetic GP equipped me with a little something to lessen the blow. Mum & I went on our merry way, fully armed with a handbag full of tissues and tranquillisers. The strongest thing I have ever shared with my mother is a packet of Rennies, but on that day she would have gladly taken anything on offer.

It all turned out alright. They told me it was a provisional Stage 2B (invasive ductal carcinoma ER+ PR+): very common, very treatable and very unlikely to have spread. However, they told me the tumour was large, so treatment would be long. First chemotherapy to shrink the tumour, then surgery & finally radiotherapy.

No tears were shed and no benzodiazepines were required. They said the magic words “you will be ok” & this was all we really wanted to hear. The first piece of good news in a really shitty week, so we went home and celebrated with tea and cake.

I wasn’t completely out of the woods as I still had to have a CT scan. This happened the following day, a Friday, so we had another anxious wait until receiving results on Monday evening. The CT scan confirmed that the cancer was unlikely to have spread: more good news. I might have been jumping the gun but it meant that my chances of survival were massively increased. Being told you’re not going to die is quite a big deal.

I’ve been listening to a lot of Bob Marley these past couple of weeks and his words have become my mantra: “Every little thing gonna be alright!”.