An Orange Jumper & Thinking Out Loud

An Orange Jumper & Thinking Out Loud

I'm not quite sure if it's a confidence issue or if I just like to wear black... with everything that was going on I started to question a lot about myself and when choosing what to wear one day, it became apparent that I have far too much black and dark clothing.

A spot of retail therapy was in order to take my mind off waiting for my results.

I strolled around the store, thinking pick something you would never normally wear Vic.

Don't get to an old lady and think I wish I had been more adventurous with my outfits.

As I walked past the pile of orange jumpers, I thought to myself how nice they were. I stopped, picked one up and did something I wouldn't normally do, I put it in my basket.

When it came to the morning of my second visit to the Colposcopy ward at Pontefract hospital, I was doing the usual flitting through my wardrobe.

I had barely slept, I felt sick. The kind of sick you feel when you are so anxious about facing something you wish you could just forget about. I remember laying in bed at 3.56am, I'm so specific as I had been watching the clock tick for what felt like days. Knowing that in three hours I would be getting up to face something I knew in the pit of my stomach, would be bad news.

Now if you know me, you know I'm one of those annoying people that always find the positive in a situation. But that night, I struggled.

As I laid next to Jay and my two furry little boys, my eyes filled with tears. I didn't want it to be bad news. I had finally found a man that made me happy every single second of every single day. The kind of love you see in movies or read about in fairytales... I had that right there in front of me. It was something I had daydreamed about since I was a little girl. Feeling safe. Feeling loved. Feeling happy. Laughing with each other so much you can't breathe. Knowing that person loves you for every part of you, even the unreasonable times when life's stresses take over you. The kind of partner that just grabs you and pulls you close when they know you need some comfort, and they instantly take all the worries away, even just for a split second. The kind of love that gives you butterflies when you think of them, even years down the line. The kind of love when you look at each of other and can't help but smile because you know the other person feels exactly the same and you have a magic bubble that you float around the world in!

At that moment he was snoring like a giant rhino, but I still loved him with every ounce of me. My two little dogs were laid on their backs, legs akimbo, both snoring loudly too... maybe it was all the snoring keeping me awake after all! How is it possible to love two little dogs so much. I remember many times people telling me how a dogs love is unconditional and how you become their everything. How excited they are when you walk in the door, how they fight one another to sit on my knee for their bellies rubbing... I love them so much. I thought to myself how I'd never actually taken the time to appreciate the simple things. Never before had I laid there despite all the snoring, and thought how lucky I actually am. 

I wriggled closer to jay, lifted up his heavy arm and snuggled into his nuck my favourite place. I must have woken him because as he whispered love you babe. I wiped the tears, smiled and realised that I had to fight, what ever the news was the next day. I had waited over 30 years to find this man and to have a little family of my own. There was no chance I was letting go of it so easily.

I remember glancing up at Jay, he was back to snoring with his mouth wide open, and I smiled. I wouldn't change him for the world! I still felt nervous, but I knew if I needed to, I would fight to keep what I had.

So that morning choosing what to wear. How do you dress for a second colposcopy appointment? Should I be smart or casual? Why am I even thinking of these questions!

I grabbed the new orange jumper, teamed it with a black maxi dress to wear under it, and set off.

Now, many of you who will have experienced something big in your life like bad news, loss of a loved one etc I'm sure will have stood back and started to appreciate your surroundings. As I drove all of us to the hospital, on a road I've driven down hundreds of times, I noticed more houses, more curves in the road...birds in the sky, people walking and enjoying every day life without a care in the world. Take a moment today and just stand there, in your own silence and soak up what's around you. It's quite liberating to take notice of the tiny things that every single day, just pass you by.

Miss Eames, we are ready for you now

I looked at Jay, he smiled with so much worry in his eyes. It's ok, he said. We walked into the little room.

Writing this next part is probably one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. Suddenly, I can't see the words I'm typing due to an uncontrollable wave that always takes over me when I think about what happens next.

How old are you Victoria the doctor asked

32 I replied.

Do you have any children? Came her next question

No came my reply. 

I remember this next part word for word, loud in my ears, seeing and reliving every ounce of detail of the room, how it smelt, how it sounded. Do you know the feeling you get when you jump into a swimming pool, you can't really see? Everything gets loud, even though there's not much noise and for a second you feel out of control.. That starts to explain how I felt.

As you know we took a sample from you for biopsy and we have the results.

She gazed so deeply in my eyes and looked so sincere, yet a little sad. I knew what was coming. Her words seem to take so long coming out of her mouth. It was like someone had a remote control on my life, they had pressed pause and taken a picture of that exact moment. 

I'm so sorry Victoria. We have found Cancer 


Still silence, she was just looking at me. Waiting for my reaction.

I looked back at her. Looked at Jay. His face ... like a child who was lost. He looked so afraid. 

I took a deep breath. I guess I had prepared myself for this. I didn't cry at this point. I said;

What do we do Stuttering what do we have to do, what do we do now? 

It became something I did a lot.

Ask questions. For anyone reading going through something similar, this it's some of the best advice I can give you. Ask as many questions as you need to. This is happening to your body. You need to understand it. You need to know what is happening.

Don't just drift through it all, understand it. 

It was almost instant that we left the little office and were ushered onto some chairs back in the waiting room, to the right this time, Were they the chairs only cancer patients sat on? Then a curtain was pulled around us. 

The nurse who was with us the whole time in the corner of the room stayed with us. I guess it was the area where you let it all sink in. I couldn't help but wonder, what were others reactions to this kind of news? 

I just felt numb, I didn't even realise I was sitting or that Jay had his arm around me. 

I felt out of breath like a small elephant was sat on my chest. 

I felt panicked. It's a race isn't it cancer? The quicker you are to react the better surely? 

Miss Eames we need you to go for your blood taking to check you are able to have an MRI scan.

I was still a Miss... I hadn't had that magical day I've thought about for many years. I had found the one but I hadn't even started my journey with him yet! 

No! no! no! no! I remember thinking. 

The nurse was talking again... 

You can go down stairs now or come back another day if you prefer? 

Why would I wait? I asked 

Please can we go now. Right away

The next part I look back at and laugh at because although it was the moment it all sank in, the actions of an old lady made it that little more bearable. 

We approached a desk down stairs. The area was full of people. There was no where to sit. Old people. Couples. Children. All looking at me. Or at least that's what it felt like. I remember Jay holding onto my hand so tightly.

I handed over the piece of paper I had been given by the nurse and as I could see her reading what it said and learning of my diagnosis, seeing her face drop, I suddenly felt like I was drowning. 

I couldn't control the tears. I started crying so uncontrollably that my legs went like jelly and Jay had to grab me to stop me from collapsing. 

It was like a scene from a film where you almost think wow that's dramatic 

But it's not. 

When something like that finally hits you like a frying pan in the face, you simply cannot control your emotions and I became hysterical.

I was ushered into a room instantly.

I vaguely heard Jay say something to the little old lady sat at the entrance to the room. It was only later on I learnt she was having a moan about me jumping the queue and Jay had to set her straight. I love old people!  Even now, I laugh at this. 

The nurse was sympathetic. I couldn't stop crying. She didn't say much. Just looked at me in a way that I knew she cared and as I contained my tears, she took my blood. I didn't watch. 

We left the room and left the hospital in silence, Jays arm around me as we walked back to the car. We paid for parking, still not uttered a word. Both in shock. As we sat in the car and I put the key in the ignition, we listened for a minute. Just daydreaming. 

A song I hadn't heard before came on the radio. This song is one that I listen to now and think how special it is to me. 

Thinking out loud Ed Sheeran. 

I looked over at the man I loved so much, he was looking back at me with those terrified, child like eyes. My eyes filled with tears again and he just pulled me close to that safe place, where for one split second, everything stops and it's just you and him. 

NHS Yorkshire
Cancer Research UK
Teenage Cancer Trust
Macmillan Cancer Support