Yesterday, a letter from the hospital. As I had failed to attend my appointment at Breast Surgery Clinic on 6 March, another had been made for me on 24 July. Please let us know if you can’t make it.
I an very conscientious about appointments. Despite Definitely Never Going To Have A Cancer Ever Again, I do like other people to confirm this on a regular basis. And by ‘other people’ I mean people who have seen a lot more be-cancered breasts than me and mine. Also, despite grumping about the NHS on occasion I do have a great deal of respect, admiration and gratitude for the creaking old beast… so I was mortified to think I’d wasted a little bit of it.
But when I looked at my appointment letter, it did say that my appointment was on the 19th of March, as I’d thought. So I called, and spoke to a very nice lady who explained that my appointment of the 19th March had been brought forward to the 6th, and hadn’t I got the letter. Well, no, I said, I didn’t. (According to our postwoman, there are 7 Old School Houses within a 3 mile radius, so it’s not unusual for letters to go to the wrong place.) That’s OK, said the very nice lady, just come on the 24th of July then.
It was at this point that I realised how anxious I really am about this stuff. What about my mammogram results, I asked, possibly with a bit of a wail in my voice, as though I’d been saying ‘what about my birthday cake?’. Don’t worry, Lady Made Of Niceness said, if there’s anything not right someone will get in touch.
And I’m sure they will. But. I was waiting for an appointment on a specific day to be told everything is fine, splendid even, my breast tissue is positively Olympian in quality and performance and a cancer has no chance of inveigling its way in there. Now I’m waiting for the correct amount of time to lapse before I can decide that no-one is going to get in touch. This is an equation involving many unknown factors, including: backlog of mammograms, administrative process, consultants on holiday, days clinics open, procedure for iffy-looking mammograms (phone call? letter?), likelihood of letter going to one of the other 6 Old School Houses in the area, what sort of mood I’m in.
I think I’ll give it a fortnight. I might even ask the oncology team if they can check when I see them the week after next. And maybe it’s time to rename the house…..