Inhabiting the Grey


I have spent a lot of time in grey areas of late.  Which is more than a little annoying.  I am normally good at making my mind up.  I am decisive.  Definite.  Prone to jump to conclusions, even.  I do not do shilly shallying.  I am deeply impatient with those who cannot make up their minds.  I hate indecision.  I despise wishy washy.

So it is ridiculously ironic that I am being visited by a cancer than simply refuses to make up its mind about how it should be treated.  First it was multifocal.  Then it wasn’t.  Next it was a 52mm tumour.  Then it shrank to 15mm.  At one point I needed a mastectomy.  Now it seems I did not.  My first pathology suggested chemo, the following one was less sure, and the lack of lymph node involvement implied no chemo at all.  And now, the oncotype dx test, which was supposed to shed light on what happens next, has provided us with as much clarity as your average puddle.  How naïve it now seems to think that I thought I would have a diagnosis and treatment plan back in February.

Brainy Spice rang me this afternoon.  This impressed the heck out of me.  Just to remind you, today was a day the Junior Doctors were striking (Note to self: check clinic dates against strikes and take muffins for picket line).  This woman will have been run off her feet because she will have been covering for her junior colleagues.  Under no circumstances can phoning me have been said to be urgent.  I was not expecting to be called until tomorrow at the earliest; it was not life threatening; and it could all have been put aside for a later date.  And I would have completely understood and supported her if that had been her decision.  However, like every doctor I have so far encountered at this hospital, she went beyond what was necessary and did everything she could to the best of her ability.  We are so lucky to have such an amazing NHS, I sincerely hope we still have one in future years.

Anyway, that was a digression.  I will park that high horse and get back to my results.  My Recurrence Score has come back as 28 out of 100.  Sounds good at first, doesn’t it?  However, less than 18 means that chemo is definitely not required.  Higher than 30 means it definitely is.  Scores in between are less clear.  Generally, if score in this intermediate group, chemo is not considered helpful as it makes little, if any, difference.  Of course, just to be awkward, my score inhabits the top end of that range which makes is even less clear about the chemo option.  Fuck.  Sorry.  Slipped out.

On the upside, I have been referred to THE most amazing oncologist.  Possibly in the world.  I have known him for about twenty years and loved him for much of that time.  He is a tremendous man of God who played a part in my son’s life during many difficult years.  As he has always been known in our household quite simply as The Doc, that is how I shall refer to him.  So the next stage is an appointment with The Doc, hopefully next Wednesday.  I trust him implicitly but really hope he can give us some guidance.