Waiting rooms – Part 1

I’d like to start this entry with an apology. I’ve been a bit slack regarding the blog this week.  I did have a post ready to go up on Thursday but events since then have caused me to put that one on the back burner and replace it with this one.  You’ll understand why as you read on.

A couple of Wednesdays ago I was due for another CT scan, to get a close-up look at what the devious bastard was getting up to after five cycles of Capecitabine. Was the chemo still working or did I need to swap to a different kind of cancer-busting medicine?

I’d arranged to meet my friend Chrissa at the tube nearest to the hospital.  It was good to have a friend there to distract me, especially when it came to the five or so attempts to get a cannula in my chemo-ravaged veins. As the dye was injected into me I began using the breathing techniques I’d recently learned in meditation classes.  In my multi-pronged assault on the cancer I’d also taken up yoga and begun to use visualisation techniques.

At night before I fall asleep I’ll visualise with each breath I take that white blood cells are surrounding the cancer, and with each exhalation that the tumours are then squashed, the white blood cells squeezing life out of them. It might sound like hippie nonsense but there are plenty of survivors who swear by the positive effects of each of these techniques. Plus, well I’ve got cancer haven’t I?  I can try what the hell I like in order to get better!

The scan was over in five or so minutes. The nurse removed the cannula and I walked out to meet Chrissa. As we turned our backs on the ward and started to leave the waiting room a woman called out, “Excuse me, excuse me.” As I turned around the stranger reached out and touched my arm.  “I have to tell you that I know a woman who was given three months to live. Nine years later she’s still going for check-ups.  A man who was also given just months to live is still here twenty four years later.” There were no introductions, no niceties; this information was simply blurted out.

I was confused; who was this woman? As tears filled my eyes, she continued. “You must keep fighting. Don’t give up.”  I was grateful for this stranger’s encouraging words but at the same time I was thinking that Chrissa must have been blabbing a whole lot in those five minutes that it took for me to get the CT scan. Caught off guard and eager for some breathing space, I thanked her and turned on my heel.  As soon as we were out of earshot I asked Chrissa in an accusing tone, “What did you say to her?”

“Nothing. I was sat with my eyes closed and she asked me if I was okay and I replied that I was fine. That’s all we said to each other”

“But then how did she…” I trailed off as we looked at each other and started giggling nervously.

I would have been happy to retain the mystery surrounding the experience; take it as an intriguing yet comforting sign, but as Chrissa was keen to quiz the stranger nosiness got the better of me and I let her go.

The woman explained that she’d heard Chrissa and I chatting in the waiting room before I went in for my scan.  Neither of us had said anything about my prognosis but we had talked about if we thought there was a heaven –you know the usual light-hearted girly chit chat! The woman had said she had a gift and that Chrissa must tell me to keep on fighting and that she saw me with my husband and children.

I thought about leaving this particular bit of information out of the blog, as since my secondary diagnosis I’d given up on the hope of ever having kids. It’s a heartbreaking reality, but one that you can put into perspective when faced with death. The priority has become salvaging a future with Tom; the other stuff can be dealt with along the way.

It doesn’t matter whether I believe this ‘prediction’ or not, whether this woman really has a ‘gift’ or is a bit crazy.  Her message was one of positivity and who am I, or anyone, to scoff at that.


8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Becoming herself
    Sep 26, 2011 @ 09:33:22

    It takes courage, too, I think to approach a stranger as this woman did you with her message of hope; she had no idea how you would react. Who knows what she might know or what gift she has? Her words to you were wonderful and positive, and that’s all that matters.


  2. Ellie Jeffery
    Sep 26, 2011 @ 09:52:18

    I agree with all you’ve written. Thanks for continuing to read. Ellie x


  3. Jennieflorist
    Sep 26, 2011 @ 11:40:12

    A simialr thing happened to my mum, she was the MD of a large mueseum in Liverpool about 10 years ago. One day they where holding a huge event at the museum, a man approached my mum after she had noticed him looking over at her on several occasions throughout the afternoon. He took her arm and introduced himself, he explained to my mum that he had a gift and wanted to speak with her about Jennifer (me)!! My mum was totally freaked out she is Roman Catholic and wants no part in anything to do with his “gift”. They chatted for a while and he explained that he had worked all over the world and that he had worked with the Royal family, blah, blah… To cut a long story short he told my mum he could see me surrounded by mountains in mountain boots, with flowers and boys. I was 23 at the time and working as cabin crew from Gatwick, my life was miles away from anything he had described, 10 yrs on, here is is the funny part, I live in A welsh Valley surrounded by hills and mountains, I am a florist and have two son’s!! Complete coincidence- Maybe, but who knows? We had a sneak around, and this guy was totally legit, he has worked with police and other big clients. Don’t be too quick to rule out the crazies! x


  4. Peas and Cougars
    Sep 26, 2011 @ 18:08:15

    As long as it’s positive for you, it can’t hurt. For all the other crazies in the world, there’s pepper spray.


  5. Chris
    Sep 27, 2011 @ 03:26:30

    Before your time, Ellie, but Bing Crosby nailed it…

    You’ve got to accentuate the positive
    Eliminate the negative
    Latch on to the affirmative
    And don’t mess with Mister In Between

    Good thoughts always coming your way.


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