Sunday, 6 November 2016

All Clear

My friend S and I went to the boob clinic for my 12 month check up.

A couple walked up the stairs behind us. They were, I think, in their late fifties. Their fear was palpable.

She was in exactly the same place I was a year previously - recently diagnosed, waiting for more detailed results to tell her just how bad it might be.

I desperately wanted to give her a hug, but this may have just tipped her over the edge. It's bad enough receiving a life altering or threatening diagnosis, without mad women accosting you physically on stairwells.

After a short wait I was called in for a mammogram. I can barely remember my last one - I was in shock at the time, having just been told by Mr Boob God that he was 99% certain that my lump wasn't at all benign (the 1% of uncertainty he left me was his version of breaking the news gently).

I felt very much like I was making a toasted sandwich with my boobs as the huge machine squeezed each in turn flat and x-rayed them. I fought the urge to suggest the addition of a little Worcestershire sauce.

As I was getting changed, I could see the radiographer checking and printing off my results. I tried desperately not to analyse her facial features. Likewise when, back in the waiting room, I watched her trundle down the corridor and put my envelope in Mr Boob God's in-tray.

After a wait which felt like an eternity I get the call up and he says "your mammogram was all clear." I wanted to clasp his hands and kiss them all over, but I knew just how many mammaries those hands had kneaded over the previous few hours.

He had a grope of mine, pronounced them all good and I was done.

S and I cried. Then we shopped. Then we went to the Chiltern Firehouse where I ordered a Virgin Mojito and we had the most delicious lunch.

Funnily enough, I am so used now to dealing with traumatic situations without booze that I don't miss it so much at those times. I know that a clear head is crucial in testing circumstances.

The time I really miss the booze still is when I'm celebrating.

However, fabulous food and friendship go a long way to making up for the lack of a fuzzy head.

And last night we went to a fireworks party. At the same event last year I'd felt totally disconnected. I was floating in a bubble of fear, watching all the people around me having fun.

But this time, as I watched the display surrounded by my family and some of my oldest and best friends, it felt like all those fireworks were laid on just for my benefit.

I knew that every year from now on fireworks will have a special message for me: you made it. Another year all clear. Another year to do all the things you want to do and to be with the people you love.

Hurrah, and love to you all,

SM x


  1. Hurrah indeed, such great news and so happy you are living the great life you have made for yourself booze free!!!

  2. So happy and relieved for you! Xxx

  3. What great news! So happy for you and your family!

  4. Terrific news! Thanks for letting us all know!

  5. I am so very very happy.
    Love to you

  6. Awesome, just awesome news!! Big hugs. Audrey

  7. As I listen to the fireworks outside I can hear them cheering you on. Congrats on the good news and making it through booze free.

  8. So happy, happy, happy for you xx

  9. SM, I'll think of you now whenever I hear fireworks. Its your night, nothing else is important. Good luck and best wishes to you and your family, they should be proud of their mum/wife.


  10. So happy for you SM.....fantastic news,, my mother in law and sister both got the all clear this week's such a roller coaster , just need my husbands results from this weeks skin biopsy to be negative and I have a Hatric....they are the only family I have least we will be able to breath this

    1. Huge congrats to you, Phoenix, and will keep everything crossed for the husband ❤️

  11. Wonderful news, so happy and relieved for you xxx

  12. That's great news! I'm so happy for you . Flossie x