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It was Ben’s 21st family dinner that night at our favourite restaurant  “The Bridge Cafe’” we had a great night.  All the kids sitting with me, I felt really close to my little family.  I went to sleep got up and drove myself to Subiaco. No way in hell expecting the day to turn out as it did. I had to leave at 6.45am – the traffic that time in the morning was usually chaos.  I arrived, got a great park, and bounced into the centre.  I waited for my turn and was called to gown up and sit in a beige cubicle.  The walls were very textured and there was a pile of scruffy magazines.  I picked one up with Rebecca Gibney staring up at me.  “Not bad for your age” I thought “Hmm how much air brushing” – I was interrupted – “Mrs Rose please follow me I’ll do your ultrasound”  The ultra sound girl was a nice breezy girl but don’t ask me to remember her name. I’ve a feeling she had an accent though maybe a scottish lilt “Pop up on here undo your gown and we’ll start”  One squirt of cold gel.  One hand piece and we were off.  “Hmm she said thats a big spleen”.  “What does a big spleen mean?” I asked.  “Well it means you have a blood disorder of some type”. “A Blood disorder?” I asked “What kind of Disorder”.  “This is probably one of the biggest spleens I’ve seen” She said.  “Ill get the radiologist to come see you  – please wait here”.  Off she goes I’m left wondering what is a big spleen in this semi lit room. What does it do? Why have I got it? How did it get there?   In walks a youngish guy. Bit baldy or maybe just cut his hair short I can only remember his eyes – and the big look of worry. “Mrs Rose thats a big spleen”. “Yes I said so i’ve been told”  “Are you unwell? Have you been overseas?”  “Well no not since last year we were cycling in France.”  “Ok we will need chest xray and a CT Scan.”  He indicated for me to follow him.  I was back in the beige textured cubicle staring at Rebecca.  My mind of course was racing.  “Why am I having a chest xray, whats a spleen I want to go home – why is everyone rushing”.  Hmm this isnt a good thing Im sure. The chest xray was performed and soon after the head radiologist popped in to see me again “We have found a spot on your lung – we will need to do the Ct now”  He disappeared.  A spot on my lung? What kind of spot a freckle? What do you mean a spot ? – I wanted to ask.  I was left alone ….. A Young man popped his head into the cubicle.  He was an asian fellow I think – with a tanned complexion anyhow.  “Mrs Rose Come with me Please Im doing the CT for you to today?”  I followed, numbly – wondering what a CT scan was. “Pop up onto the bed – thats the way – not a good day for you is it?”  Isn’t it I thought?  Is it a bad day?  Am I awake or still in my bed.  “Ive just got to inject this medium into your arm then we can start”  The first needle pin prick of many.  The machine became alive and he left the room whilst it did its job. “You’ll see your GP this afternoon we’ll have the results to him by then.”  He showed me back to my beige cubicle. The head radiologist popped his head in – “Are you ok to drive home are you by yourself?” “Yes.” I said nodding.  “I’ve made an appointment at your GP for 3pm is this ok?”  “Yes ok”.  I vaguely remember getting to the counter paying my $700 odd dollars and driving home.  I cried all the way.  All the 40 minutes. Poor Julie was my first friend that happened to call me and she got all my grief.  Thank god she did call me. I was numb I didn’t know if the world was real.  I was a mess when I got home, I burst into the door a blubbering mess. “There is a spot on my lung” I told my Hubby he looked as me is disbelieve “A spot? Oh honey” we hugged for ages.  I couldn’t speak…. the words wouldn’t form in my mouth.  I felt like the words weren’t real anyway.  Me crying him consoling. My gorgeous daughter watched on. Wide eyed.  “It’ll be ok I told her, I’m going to be ok” You have to be strong for your kids.  As a Mother you feel you need to be ok and to somehow click back to reality and smooth your clothes and find the right words.. I had to compose myself and become a Mum.  Strong and resilient.  I rushed to her to hug her she cried. I consoled. Is this madness is this real? Have I heard this or have I made it up.  The day ticked by. We had lunch – like we really ate some lunch. Its kind of like your acting out a life because thats all you know how to do.  We went to the GP and we listened.  “Hmm he said its a  large spleen its about 3 kg. 24cm long they say – Its massive.  Are you in pain?  Are you unwell? Have you been hot? Night sweats.?”  “No – i’ve been hot but hot generally its been a hot summer and Im at the age I thought I might be getting hot.  Ive not had night sweats. Im not unwell. Im cycling 150 k a week. Im ok there isn’t anything wrong with me” – I kept repeating.  It seemed no one was listening.   Dr Laki said “You need to see a specialist. I’ll organise an appointment now let me make a few phone calls.” We sat and watched and listened.  “Hi Dr Crawford yes Ive got a client healthy 48 year old female can you see her – yes Tuesday great – he turned to me “Tuesday in Fremantle 9am?” – Yes i nodded I guess I have to.  He turned back “Yes we are looking for a LYMPHOMA”.  A what ? a lymph what? In me? In my body? What? I was stunned. I must’ve heard wrong.  “Great” he finished.  He typed out the referral handed it to me wished me luck and on we went.  April the 1st 2011 what a day.

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