Just letting you know..

17 01 2013

A little while before Christmas, I was told I might have cancer. (I should stress that I was told this by an actual doctor, not just a rogue stranger or particularly hurtful friend). Thing is, I’d somehow acquired a lump on my neck, and after putting it off as long as possible, I finally decided to do something about it and check it out.

In retrospect, I can’t believe I left it so long. I had a lump! Coming out of my neck! That’s not meant to happen! But I thought that maybe it was totally normal, or that it had always been like that and I’d never noticed, and maybe everyone called me Lumpy Bex behind my back but I’d just never known.

As it wasn’t confirmed and it was officially coming up to the Most Wonderful Time of the Year, I let it fall to the back of my mind. That’s not to say I forgot about it; the tests I had made sure it wasn’t something I let slip by. The first test was an ultra-sound scan where it looked like my neck was pregnant with a little baby thyroid, and the second was a camera delicately dangled down my nose and into my throat. (Apologies if you’re particularly squeamish about this kind of thing but the point of this blog is to be as honest as possible, so honesty is what you’re going to get, nose-cameras and all). Finally, I had a biopsy where a needle was jabbed into my neck while I pretended this was all totally normal, and was secretly thrilled when the nurse told me I’d been very brave. I looked around for a sticker and a lolly but I don’t think they give them to 25 year olds, no matter how brave you are.

And this week I was told that yeah, actually, I totes blates obv do have cancer. It’s thyroid cancer- one of the boring types with no pink ribbon or yellow wristband to wear- but still it’s a cancer. I promise. Look it up, it’s there on Wikipedia. And so now I have to take out half the thyroid and hopefully the whole cancer-thing will go with it. (By the way, when I say ‘I have to take out the thyroid’, obviously I mean it’ll be done by qualified surgeons. I’m not going to be messing about with a scalpel and hoping for the best). There might be more operations or injections along the way, but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.

I should stress I’m absolutely fine in myself- fit and healthy (well, not fit enough to run a marathon, but I’ve never been fit enough to do that, so no change there) and I think I’m pretty solid in dealing with it. I need to get through this because I’ve got stuff to do, guys. I’m also lucky enough to be surrounded by more loving and caring family and friends than any one person could possibly deserve, for which I am eternally grateful.

So I thought I’d write about this for a few reasons. Firstly, if I normally see you quite a lot but I’m suddenly not around and you think I’m avoiding you, I’m not. (Unless you actually are the person I’m trying to avoid, in which case, can you take the hint, pal?). Secondly, I thought that writing this should help tell as many people as possible in a quick way, and to avoid the Chinese whispers of one person telling another until the truth becomes a mangled shadow of what it actually is. And to be honest, I’ve thought, talked and emailed about this so many times over the last few days that it seems it’s the process of telling people, and not the cancer itself, which is exhausting. I also know it’s a pretty emotive subject, so hopefully by quietly putting it here and not making you have a big conversation, some of you won’t feel as uncomfortable about it.

Thirdly, this isn’t something I’m particularly precious or awkward about. Treat me exactly as you did before, ask me questions, feel free to make jokes. I don’t care, I’d rather we all carry on as normal.

Fourthly (is that a word? Am I allowed four points?) next time you see me I may have a scar across my neck. I’m slightly concerned that I’ll look like a low-budget Frankenstein.

Finally, I just wanted to tell you that I now appreciate just how serious Snap! were when they sang those glorious lyrics-

‘I’m as serious as cancer,
When I say rhythm is a dancer’.

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3 responses

19 01 2013
Tim as in Clare & Busta

So this is what a blog is! Never read one before, v informative .Didn’t know you are a Leo but us Taureans don’t believe in horoscopes …
Look forward to seeing you in dad’s boozer!

20 01 2013
Lilian

Keep strong,I will keep in touch with mum and dad, lots love xxxx

20 01 2013
paul mcginnety

Great blog Bex. We are with you all the way! xx

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