“Let’s talk about it” (Part 1)


March 1986

I don’t think either of us spoke during the journey home after our meeting with the Oncologist from Leeds. I remember thinking I must tell work, but tell them what? They might sack me. Times were hard for the engineering industry, I’d already narrowly escaped two rounds of redundancy and who knows when the next might be.

“Bad news travels fast!”

I decided to strike while the iron was hot and went to work the next day to tell my bosses. I figured if I went while I still looked okay then they might think it’s not that bad. So I told them, but I’m not sure what they thought, in fact I wasn’t sure what anyone thought about my illness because they never told me. Mind you, what do you say to a twenty-five year old who eight weeks ago was showing off his newly born son and was now telling you he had cancer.

After that, I was on a roll, so I decided to tell my Mum and Dad next. They had moved down from Scotland recently, having aborted their attempt at early retirement. I think my Mum was behind that decision, she probably wanted to be nearer her grandchildren. Whilst I wasn’t their only child, my older brother’s lifestyle as a freelance artist and song writer afforded him little incentive to consider a long-standing relationship, let alone start a family.

Telling my parents was the hardest thing to do. I remember thinking I could be a doctor as I made up my mind I would explain using anything other than the ‘C’ word.

“I have lymphoma”. That was easy.

‘What’s that then?”

After a painful pause, “It’s a type of cancer”

Doh, there I said it.

“Where do you have it?”

“In my lymph nodes”

“What are those?”

And so it continued, the blind leading the blind, what I really wanted to tell them was that I had cancer and I had no idea what happens next because I’m stupid……………………..

The content in my blog is provided for educational and informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for a health care professionals advice. Please consult your own appropriate health care provider about the applicability of any of my opinions with respect to your own symptoms or medical conditions. The information in my blog does not constitute legal or technical advice

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