‘I’m afraid it’s not good news. We’ve found cancer cells in your lymph nodes.’
With that, the air in the room was sucked out. I couldn’t catch my breath, I froze in my chair and my entire body started to shake. I’d never experienced shaking from shock before – I thought it was just a saying or something that happened on the telly or in films. I didn’t cry, nor make any noise: no low moaning, howling or screaming. I couldn’t speak. My brain just couldn’t work out what to say at that point. Mum took over and it was she who broke the silence. She sat up very straight in her plastic chair, held up her chin and started speaking. I remember turning to look at her face. She wasn’t crying, which surprised me because my mum is a huge softie and it’s not unusual for her to cry at the smallest thing, let alone at the news that her daughter has cancer. Instead, there was my straight-backed, incredibly brave mum asking all the questions I should’ve been asking but couldn’t because my brain-mouth-body connections had gone horribly wrong.
Available now to pre-order from Hashtag Press