It’s obvious that if you’ve had breast cancer, you check you breasts often.
It’s obvious that if you find a lump you tell your family.
It’s obvious that they look worried and tell you to call the hospital.
It’s obvious that that’s what you do, even though there’s a part of you that keeps poking that new lump, just a little bit too far north of the scar tissue to be scar tissue, and trying to remember that it’s always been there, or trying to realise that it’s actually nothing, not a lump at all, just a bit of imagination worked loose from your brain and nestling in the wrong place in your body.
It’s obvious that the hospital will see you as soon as they possibly can.
It’s obvious that going to breast clinic will mean sitting in a room full of faces of degrees of anxiety, exhaustion and dread, some of them papered over with brave. (It’s the faces of the husbands that make me want to weep. So worried. So determined to be strong. Like dads letting go of the backs of bikes and bracing themselves for the wobble, the scraped shin and the howl.)
It’s obvious that, after a chat and a thorough examination, the consultant will suggest an ultrasound, just to be sure, although he thinks everything is fine.
It’s obvious that that means another wait.
It’s obvious – once it’s happened – that the ultrasound will find our old friend Fatty Necrosis, who sounds terrible, but is not worth worrying about, like one of those raucous, leering men at the bar who look at their shoes when you look them in the eye.
It’s obvious too, once the weight and pressure of stress have been taken away, that there’s a simple explanation for the lump: that losing 8 kilos in weight in a little over three months is going to change the breasty landscape, and give access to lumpy bits that weren’t feelable before.
It was obvious to a small part of me, in the time between finding the lump and seeing the scan, that It Was Back. That part made plans and held its half of conversations and rescheduled meetings and had already decided that This Time, I would dance as slowly as the music allowed, looking at every detail and learning the thing that I failed to learn last time, the thing that meant cancer had to come back and try and get me to get it this time round the dancefloor.
It’s obvious, I suppose, that it will always be like that, at least a little.
But mostly, right now, it’s obvious that I don’t have a breast cancer. And I’m glad.