I nearly left without saying goodbye. My head is full of visions of Love in a Camper Van and other forthcoming sitcoms starring Lily and Nick. The suitcases are zipped shut. The fridge is clean. Jamie is on his way over to lug the cases and drive me off to Heathrow.
I feel as though I’m wrapping up my year of cancer too. On Tuesday I had my final appointment with Dr Coulter. To make her day I wore a Bella Freud knitted dress with ‘GIRL’ written across the front. “Yes well, we won’t forget what you are, Lily,” said Dr Coulter, dry as ever. Yesterday I saw Mr Hadjiminas for the last time this year. “Your DNA test shows that you have both the pairs of genes that indicate that Tamoxifen will be good for you,”* he announced, beaming.
I already have the Tamoxifen in my suitcase. Dr Coulter suggested that I start taking it two weeks after I get to Australia. “At least have a bit of a holiday first,” she kindly advised. I intend to.
Mr Hadjiminas then drained some bloody fluid out of my back. “Bring a pot Honoria,” he cried, “there’s plenty here.” I tried not to wince. Mr H squirted the liquid into the pot. “At least a quarter of a pint. Terrific,” he pronounced with a satisfied tone. “I’ve read Your Life in Your Hands’ by Jane Plant, I told him. “I’m giving up dairy. What do you think about that?” “I’m the wrong person to ask,” Mr H replied, “I like cheese.” “What should I do if my back swells up again?” I asked. “Nothing. Don’t let anyone touch it,” shot back Mr H. “If it’s really bad you must see a plastic surgeon. Your chest wall is about this far from your lung,” he held his forefinger and thumb very close together.
I went around the hospital distributing Christmas cards. Bess and Karen gave me big hugs and showered good wishes on my head. So it just leaves me to wish you a very peaceful, happy Christmas and a spectacular year in 2010. This year was interesting but I'm not ready for another one like it. Thank you for being with me through the last few months.
I had always thought that when the chemo ended, so Chemo Chic would end too. But now I realise that the story is much longer. Chemo Chic is not just the tale of getting through cancer it’s about living life after cancer.
What happens next?
*I neglected to tell you about the DNA test that I had last week. Maybe I will catch up some missing parts of the story as I’m lying on the beach.