The cancer waiting room

If you want to be reminded of the fragility of life visit a cancer waiting room. My wife and I were in one last week when she went for her now annual visit. It was a “new patient” clinic that day which I can tell you from extensive experience of the said waiting room is the worst one. People go there very soon after their diagnosis of cancer to discuss treatment options with their consultant. The pain of realising that your life has suddenly changed and the raw grief is still palpable. There are so many questions; so many worries and so many uncertainties. For obvious reasons it doesn’t run to time so there is a lot of waiting. Most people have someone with them to support them. A few brave souls are on their own. I spotted a mother and daughter – the daughter late teens early twenties perhaps. I assumed the cancer patient was the mother but sadly when the consultant came it was the young girl who was called.

But for my wife it was a good visit. The various scans and tests showed no significant recurrence of cancer and she doesn’t have to go back for another year. As we left I couldn’t help sparing a thought for the others we had seen in the waiting room. Their battle was only just beginning and sadly some of them won’t be so fortunate.

It’s been a lazy week on the running front. I had five days where I didn’t run at all. I missed parkrun on Saturday because there were strong winds forecast. In the event it was more of a breeze. I’m training again this week and hoping to run parkrun this Saturday. And most exciting of all I’m hoping to make a return to playing five a side football.


10 thoughts on “The cancer waiting room

  1. Great news for you and your wife. I’ve known and know a few people who had to directly deal with cancer, and most of all they get my admiration, for their bravery, their strength, their will. Hoping for a cure, like everyone….

  2. This is something that we all prefer not to think about, but it’s a painful reality in too many lives. I can only imagine what you and your wife have gone through and I am so glad that she has been given good news. Good luck on Saturday!

  3. Thanks Jo. We’ve been very fortunate really. Grateful too for the NHS which does an amazing job all things considered.
    My training for running faltered slightly at teatime when a rather generous portion of full fat ice cream somehow found its way down my throat. It did taste good though.

  4. Terrific news about Pam, it must be such a relief to get the all clear. I imagine if you keep getting positive news at each visit, there’s a smaller and smaller chance of anything recurring? It’s hard to imagine just how stressful it must be to attend that first clinic, but encouraging that survival rates keep going up.
    Five aside football? Do I detect a new goal of some sort round the corner? (puns unintentional)

    • Thanks Lorna. I think you’re right that the longer you are clear the better the chances but they do stress that you’re never given a complete forever all clear. I’m trying to find a five a side football game to join as the squash hasn’t really come to anything. Probably just as well given how I played last time!

  5. Thanks very much! As regards training I’m looking forward to warmer weather – guess you are too. I’m pondering whether I can call playing football cross-training!

  6. I’m a new visitor and of course don’t know you or your wife, but just to say how glad I was to read that your wife has the all clear for another year. I have no experience of the annual check up situation, having lost my mother to cancer within 4 weeks from diagnosis to her death, but I’m rooting for anyone who is fighting cancer.

    My husband is training for various running things including the Edinburgh marathon, and has had a similar winter to yours. Hoping for some decent running weather for you both!

    • Thanks very much indeed for your kind words. Good for your husband doing the marathon. I hope his training is going well. The weather in Edinburgh this week has been horrendous for running but even on the really wet days I still spotted some brave souls out running. I thought to myself – someone’s training for the marathon or half marathon. Otherwise why on earth would you venture out, let alone run!

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