Needing to go more often didn’t alert me to trouble I have a weak bladder – I’ve always needed frequent „comfort breaks“. The blood did however! I’d hoped it was an infection but my doctor referred me to a specialist to be sure.
The news of a tumour wasn’t a surprise in itself, I’d known something was wrong and consulted Dr Google; the surprise was how pretty it was. There it was on the screen like a sea anemone or a blossom, pretty but incredibly scary. So scary! I was incredibly grateful for a huge hug, a hand to hold and another heart to be with me through the ensuing conversations, questions and frequent stunned silences.
My specialist was and is amazing and was quick to explain and illustrate next steps to managing the situation. Before long a hospital had been recommended for surgery and booked for the following week and our immediate questions had been answered. We had started on our new “you’ve got a bladder tumour path”. When I look back at that day, there was calm rather than panic and that strange awareness that there was a different path to be travelled, a different path to the one where there had not been any “prettycancer-flower”. It reminds me of twenty-five years earlier seeing a tiny dot on a screen and travelling the “you’re pregnant path”. Nothing is ever quite the same again.
My thoughts about my cancer run like the presence of graffiti in the city I live in – there are large expanses of concrete or green but you catch glimpses of sprayed messages and murals everywhere – not all encompassing but always somewhere. That image of the bladder-flower on screen stays with me, a blemish on an otherwise clear surface – like graffiti on a newly painted wall.