Well. That was certainly interesting.
We went to the hospital this morning and had some really quite revelatory information. I have been known to be contrary (!) but it seems throughout this process that just when I feel I have a handle on the seriousness versus reality balance, I am just thrown off the other end.
I am very impressed with King's, again, after today. I was seen incredibly promptly, and not just by a nurse, but by the registrar surgeon on my case, two support people who ensure I have what I need support wise pre and post op, as well as a physio nurse whose team will be helping me get back to full working order, whatever the side effects will be.
They sat me down and went through the detail, and took my questions patiently and fully as a team, for as long as I kept going. I wasn't rushed, they listened and explained as much as I needed and really gave me the feeling that they were there for me. I came away with contact details for the team, details of a charity and support group, a reminder that they are always there for questions and a recommendation of two other young women in my situation that I can speak to at any time. I really was very impressed.
And completely shaken up and shocked.
I did ask what they were going to do, and I am glad that I did. I'm not going to write it down but I will tell you in person if you're interested. Logistically it is all incredibly clever and I liked how they were so passionate about it. But it is also quite gruesome when you think that it is going to be your own head.
Mostly so far people have spent an awful lot of energy explaining to me how this is routine, and simple, and although serious, quite straightforward. I know that people think it's comforting, and if they're medical then I take it more seriously. But sometimes (ok mostly) it's annoying when non medical people say "I just know everything is going to be fine". Seriously? Is it? Oh OK thanks, what am I worrying for then?
Woops. Side rant.
Anyway, so when I arrived this morning and they asked what my understanding was I think I tried to be brave and positive, and that worried them. They shot me right down and explained exactly how dangerous it is and all the possible going wrong scenarios. More worryingly they said very clearly they didn't know what it was, or how bad it is and they won't know until they get it out.
I know this of course, but until now I had understood that it was almost certainly benign and pretty clear from the scan that it shouldn't be too difficult to remove. That's not what they said today. In fact they went out of their way to prove the opposite - although I am taking it all with a massive pinch of salt. I don't think they were trying to scare me, just be realistic and manage my expectations. I appreciate a management of expectations!
Just a bit shaky about it really.
I think the main thing now is to get through the next week without too many panic attacks or scary thoughts about the long term side effects. I plan to do fun things now and start being less morbid. Might even go for a walk in a minute. When I've just, you know, had a little rest...