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  • Shevelle Copeland-Kelly

Life with the possibility for parole...#5



I met with the oncologist next, the week after I had been resentenced to life with the possibility of parole. The oncologist was a Tiny woman. Empathetic but truthful she had a perfect balance. She felt like a fairy God Mother. She talked me through the treatment plan and what to expect. She examined me physically and asked me loads of questions about my health she told me that the lump measures to be 7 cm clinically! Bear in mind the week before I was told the scans show it to be 2 cm. My brain did not process, that of course if she is measuring the lump freehand after I have been abused by the various scanning machines that my poor babies, of course, would be swollen and sore. Meaning an increase in the size of the tumor due to swelling. But you see when you are in that lost mental state you only process certain words. Trigger words. The words I was waiting for was things such as...' Spreading, dying, we made a mistake' or words associated with.


After she finished her examinations she then said she will need to do a CT and bone scan before treatment starts. My demeanor flared up again. I became belligerent. Oh shit. He lied. The bastard lied. Clearly, he lied. It has to be spreading if we have to do more scans. A CT scan checks the whole body's internal organs makes sure that they have not been compromised. Bone scan checks exactly what its name implies. Just making sure that it is solely in the breast....babe. Huh?! Pardon Bitch?! I was told it was early stage last week now I need to wait again to see if it is really early stage. I cannot do this, I really cannot, somebody come get me! Anybody! Hello! I mean did she not read my notes is she not aware I am dramatic?


I normally present a calm exterior. "Oh, Shevelle your handling this well." "Wow Shevelle, I’m so proud of you." But at this moment I lost it, I thought I could hold my breath but then I lost it. “But he said it wasn’t spreading, so why I gotta do more tests, they bring you to this point tell you its early stage now you wanna do a bone and CT scan, surely this should have been done along with the mamogram and biopsy.” I had to let her have it. Fuck your social experiments and looking for reactions. Anxiety is not a joke especially when that shit turns into a panic attack. It can kill. It mimics real life. Takes the piss. And before you know it bam! Fight or flight. And your hanging on for dear life.


To my surprise, she looked at me calmly and said "Shevelle, I know you are worried but we have to control this. Please do not worry. The possibility is almost impossible as your lymph nodes where clear." But she didn’t know that I make the impossible happen. I will be the 1% I was convinced.


I went for my bone scan and CT scan over the next few days. The bone scan was the worst mentally because the thought of it being in my bones horrified me. I condition myself to beleive that if it was in my bones as soon as they told me my whole skeleton would crumble on site and I would be simply a pile of skin and muscle - that was my image! To add to that I was having shoulder pain. I was convinced something sinister would be found. They give you an injection that will highlight any inconspicuous areas within the bones. A few hours later they perform the scan by you lying on a bed and having a machine hover within inches over you. The process takes around 30 mins and you cant move otherwise you will be penalised. I wanted to move simply because they said don't move. Ever get that feeling? I came out of that scan and I broke down. To make it worse paranoia had hit me whilst I was in the scan I was convinced the radiologists where speaking about me and what they could see and it wasn’t good. Reality hit me the week before I was in Dubai living my best life and now I am essentially a cancer patient over night.


I received my results 4 days later. My fairy God mother revealed the the news as if she was a presenter on a million pound show. She starts of the appointment by speaking on a variety of other things but doesn’t address the scan result. My hands was sweaty, I was anxious. These scans stand within life or death. After about 10 mins she said “I take it you have recurved your results.” I looked at her fearfully and mumbled “no”. Could it be she was too scared to tell me? She doubled checked her notes and said “they are all fine” meaning it hadn’t spread it was just a 2cm lump contained in the breast. At that point when she told me I felt something lift off my chest, remember the crane that was embedded? My birds had come together and started lifting it off. I felt them it was instant. My chest pain was gone. They were saving me. Only at that point, I knew I could focus. My prognosis of death by summer started to look further away. Maybe I can do this.


At my follow up she talked through chemo and what is involved. The side effects were endless. Some serious ones too. Even cancer treatment can cause cancer. Sepsis. Early menopause and fertility loss. The chemotherapy knocks out every cell. Forget hair loss that will be the least of your worries. I started to feel weak again. Like what the hell am I supposed to do risk death trying to avoid death? They don’t make it easy for you. But there was no choice, it was a must. Options? What options? No options. Just sign the paper and get on with it.....please. So I did.


I mean I don’t wake up thinking yes I intend to be so negative about my situation but when you are given the terrifying truth that something is trying to stop you from reaching 30, your whole life as you know flashes. When you hear people say “it could be worse”. Okay sally it is worse, yesterday I had a spot on my face disturbing my beauty today I have been diagnosed with breast cancer. So it is worse now. Today it is worse. Unless you’ve been told “It’s cancer” you just won’t understand.


So what now? It still wasn’t all clear you feel as though you are part of a conveyer belt waiting for the next stage in the cycle any malfunctions and you are a 'gonner'. So two weeks on from my biopsy, mammogram, CT, and bone scan. I was now aware I had cancer. I was also aware that it wasn't spreading. But now I had to process chemotherapy and what that meant for me.


But anyway let’s just be thankful.


Alexa play - Be Thankful, Omar ft Erykah Badu




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