The diagnosis

When we went back for the biopsy results, part of me felt sure they were going to tell me it was cancer. But it seemed overly dramatic, so I didn’t say it out loud to anyone. Paul and I sat side by side while we waited for the doctor. ‘What do you think she’ll say?’ I asked. ‘That everything’s fine,’ he said.

We talked about stupid things, like how awful the curtains were. Paul told me he’d ordered them for every room in our house. Later, he said he’d overheard a distressed woman in the next room talking about her terminal cancer. I’d heard nothing. Maybe I just hadn’t let myself.

When the doctor came in accompanied by two other people, it was clear that it wasn’t going to be good news. They hardly needed to say that I had cancer. I was grateful that the doctor was kind and that she was pregnant, roughly as far along as me. It was reassuring, somehow.

I was sent for blood tests and asked to come back that afternoon for a mammogram and an ultrasound on my armpit, to check the lymph nodes. ‘It’s April Fools’ Day,’ I said, as we walked through the corridors. ‘Imagine if they’d started laughing and told me it wasn’t true.’

And we went home. I remember walking into our bedroom and thinking, the last time I was in this room, I didn’t know I had cancer. Things were spinning a little too fast.

It was a Friday, and Joseph and I were due to spend the weekend with my parents. Paul had some friends coming to stay. That night, we lay facing each other in bed, and he apologised for the bad timing of these plans. I told him it was ok, that we’d be together again on Sunday night. ‘And forever,’ he said.

A couple of days later, I was lying flat on my back in Joseph’s bedroom while he blew raspberries on my tummy ‘to make the baby sister laugh’. He’d just had a bath and was naked. His skin was soft against mine and we were laughing, and I felt like the luckiest person in the world.



  1. B · April 29, 2016

    What a total, total fucker. I’m SO sorry. You will cope because you have to and because that’s what mothers do. And when you’re healthy again and surrounded by your happy, beautiful family this will just be a distant, difficult memory. Love from north London

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Katie · April 29, 2016

    Laura, i just saw this post from Lydia’s Facebook. I’m so sorry to read about this. You are so brave. Thank you for sharing and trying to help others.


  3. Catherine Castle · April 30, 2016

    Life can be very cruel and is sent to try us. Treatment is better than ever today so stay strong and positive. I’m a mother of two and a nurse and appreciate the pressure your under must be totally immense. You can fight this!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lynne · April 30, 2016

    Sending our love and positive thoughts to you, love from Lynne and Ian

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Vicky · April 30, 2016

    Laura, you write so beautifully. I hope that everything will be well again! Lots of love and all the strength in the world. Xxx

    Liked by 1 person

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