She was just a figure in the corner. When I walked in to the consultant’s room at the Oncology Department at Addenbrookes Hospital I didn’t even look at her face. We didn’t attend this appointment to see her. We had come to this appointment to hear what the consultant had to say. We were aware that his words would impact the days to come. His specialist opinion would inform us of the reality we were facing.
We had come prepared to hear the possibility that dad may need to lose his whole bladder. We had come prepared to hear what life may look like without a bladder. We even came prepared to hear that the cancer was ‘mysteriously’ gone. This was what we had prayed for. This was what we believed wholeheartedly that God could do. We didn’t come to this appointment expecting to hear the cancer was no longer localised to the bladder. We were told it had spread and it was aggressive. This meant no surgery would get rid of it. As the consultant explained all of this information to us everything in the room became a blur, except my dad’s face. I saw the disappointment of what he was hearing hit him so hard that it looked like he was struggling to swallow all this heartbreaking information. It was just like an episode of ‘Greys Anatomy’ when that horrible cancer conversation takes places and as soon as it is said out loud, all other conversation that follows is incomprehensible information, all mumbled and confusing. Thankfully my older brother was able to ask the necessary questions, but me…. I was shocked. It didn’t take long for my heart to become so heavy, a lump to appear at the back of my throat and my eyes to fill up with tears. Then the tears began to flow continuously, I tried to be strong and stop for my dad’s sake but I understood fully what the Consultant was saying and I was not prepared to hear any of this.
Within moments I felt a hand on my shoulder. It wasn’t my dad, nor was it my brother. It was the lady in the corner. The doctors were obviously aware of what the impact of this news could be and a Macmillan volunteer was requested to be there to offer support. I can’t even remember what her face looked like. I can’t even remember if I said thank you. But her presence meant the world to me. Her presence was comforting, reassuring and even though she was a stranger I knew there was support available for not just the patient with the cancer but also the family members. Her presence changed that moment. Her presence was needed. She was Comfort in the corner.
Us fundraising for Macmillan Cancer Support means others just like me and my incredible dad can get the support every person deserves. Cancer does not care about you but Macmillan do.
Please consider a donation today toward my 26 mile hike from Brighton to Eastbourne and let’s care for and support those living with cancer.