Friday dawns, Dad and I listen to the radio on the way to the hospital. I can’t chat, I didn’t sleep well, and I’ve been dwelling again. Dad doesn’t look particularly well rested either. This probably goes some way to explain what happens next.
I’ve the phone in my hand already, partly incase there’s a problem at work and partly, with A away in a different time zone, it’s habit. The phone rings, not a number I recognise, so I answer and it’s the BCC. Everyone is sick; nobody can see me today, they are going to have to reschedule. I say (more than a little desperately) that I’ll sit and wait, I’ve got the day off, I can wait until someone is free. A very kind voice at the end of the line explains that everyone is sick, there is no one to see me, they’ll ring on Monday.
Dad swears, my Dad does not swear. I slump despondently, mentally re-ordering my day and hoping my new colleagues don’t think I just wanted to get my nails done (I don’t have any nails, they are always the first casualties of stress).
Then Dad swings into action, the car swings round as well, we will head to a private hospital. I protest, this is not how we do things – my Mum had the very best treatment, loved her doctors and received top draw medical help, all on the NHS, I want no different – but already deep down, way down inside, a knot has already started to loosen.
We are in a car park, surrounded by a sea of massive silver and black cars. Parking proves to be difficult and it has started to rain.
“It’s a sign, we can wait, they said they’ll ring on Monday.”
“ We are just going to go in and enquire. That’s all”
We scuttle, beetle like, in to a foyer. It’s the wrong foyer. This one is for Physio only. The receptionists are patient as we try to explain to them and each other what we require. They are amazingly kind and helpful, they find someone to come down and talk to us. We are asked to take a seat. Looking back, this reception reminds me of a giant elevator in a very smart hotel; the lighting is soft, the carpet is soft, the doors open automatically and softly, the chair I’m sitting in is very soft. If there is music playing and I can’t recall if there is, I feel strongly that it’s ‘The Girl from Ipanema’ but you know, softly.
A wonderful lady (my first boob angel) comes and explains the options, she understands how I feel, she has had a needle biopsy on a lump only this morning. There is one slot left for tomorrow morning, we take it, just like that. I need to know now what is going on with me and the Lump. As we leave, the lady looks me dead in the eye and then hugs me, “It will all be O.K.” she says.