Ava stood in the doorway, shuffling her feet from side to side, her whitened knuckles grasping the car keys as she rested her hands upon the baby bump. She glared at Oscar who gazed up at her with glassy eyes.

“You ready?”

“Yeah.  Let’s get it over with.” Ava nodded, placing her hand on Oscar’s back, gently guiding him out of the door.

“Maybe the tests were clear?” Oscar added.

“Oscar, please don’t speak too soon!”

“I’m just trying to be positive.”

“I know.”

Ava slipped into the driver’s seat, patting her stomach. “I swear I’ve grown again, I’ll be stretching the seat belt at this rate!”

“Don’t be daft! That’s great.” Oscar smiled. “It’s as it should be. We want a strong, healthy baby.”

“Yeah, I know. I feel ginormous and I’m miles off full term!”

“Hardly miles! You don’t look big I promise.” Oscar reassured.

They pulled in to the familiar building. “We might as well move into the hospital, it feels like we’ve never left.”

“Let’s just get to reception.”  Oscar shut the car door, hastening his step.

“Yes, I’ll waddle as fast as I can!” Ava groaned.

Oscar grasped her hand. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to walk so quickly.”

“Oscar, you seem to pick and choose your energy levels!”

“What? That’s just ridiculous!”

“Well it’s true. One day you can’t physically get off the sofa and the next you’re dragging me across the hospital. Slow down!”

Oscar bit his bottom lip to prevent it from trembling. “Okay.” He whispered. “I’m just nervous that’s all.”

“It looks empty along this corridor. Are we in the right place Oscar?”

“Yeah.  Here’s reception, doctors move about a bit you know.”

Oscar gazed at the red plastic chairs and headed towards the reception desk. “Hi I’m Oscar Setterfield, I have an appointment at 10am with Doctor Cassidy.”

The receptionist gazed up and nodded. “Yes, you can go on in. He’s waiting for you.”

‘Really?’ Oscar thought.  Normally there was a longer wait. He grasped Ava’s hand. “Oscar, you’re shaking like a leaf. Take deep breaths and don’t be so anxious. You’ll exhaust yourself before we’ve even begun!”

Hand in hand they tiptoed into the doctor’s surgery and were seated by the wooden desk. Doctor Cassidy glanced at them. He exhaled loudly, glancing through a small pile of paper work.

How have you been since we last spoke Oscar?”

“Tired. I think I’ve lost more weight, my appetite is pretty much non-existent. Please, just tell me it as it is. Don’t try and wrap cotton wool around any information. I have to know.”

“ I can assure you I’d never do that. I’ve had the results back from your blood tests. They show an very high number of abnormal white blood cells. I’d like to refer you to a hematologist, a blood specialist.”

“What does that mean? Why? Then what?”

“They need to take a small sample of your bone marrow.”

“What! My bone marrow? That’s serious! It’s not…do you think it’s Leukemia? Oh shit!”

“We cant be 100% sure, but it’s possible. A lot of your symptoms match. If we catch the disease early enough, it’s very treatable. We’d like to do an aspiration and biopsy of your bone marrow. A sample will be taken from your breastbone, using a special needle.”

“Where and when will the test be done? That sounds horrible, won’t it be really painful?” Ava gasped. Oscar ignored her.

“ Your appointment with the hematologist is in 48 hours, here’s the details informing you where to go and the appointment time.” 

Doctor Cassidy held out an A4 piece of typed paper. Oscar failed to take it, staring vacantly at the wall. Ava shook him and grasped the details.  “Oscar! Please say something!” 

“Okay.” He stated in little more than a whisper. He nervously cleared his throat.  “Sorry, it’s come as a little bit of a shock that’s all. What do I do now? I mean I hardly understand what it is, apart from the fact that Leukemia is a blood disease!”

“In a person with leukemia, the bone marrow produces abnormal white blood cells. The abnormal cells are leukemia cells. Unlike normal blood cells, leukemia cells don’t die when they should. They may crowd out normal blood cells. This makes it hard for normal blood cells to do their work. Despite their vast numbers, these leukemia cells are unable to fight infection the way normal white blood cells do. As they grow, they interfere with vital organ functions, including the production of healthy blood cells. Do you understand so far? “

“I-I think so.”

“Eventually, the body doesn’t have enough red blood cells to supply oxygen, enough platelets to ensure proper clotting, or enough normal white blood cells to fight infection. This results in persons with leukemia being anemic as well as increasing their risks of bruising, bleeding, and infection.”

“Can it be treated with chemotherapy?”

“If it’s properly been diagnosed, yes.”

“I don’t even know what to do or say. Shit. I mean I know I’ve felt drained and had vomiting and black outs but I never, ever expected this.”

“Oscar aren’t you going to ask more questions?!”

Oscar shook his head. “They’ve escaped me Ava.”

I have questions. How sure are you? I mean, Oscar has only displayed a few of the symptoms; tiredness, flu like symptoms and loss of appetite.”

“I’m guessing it’s only early on is that right?”

“Everything we do at the moment is precautionary  We don’t have a proper diagnosis, not yet. We need to get that bone marrow sample taken. For the time being, go home and take plenty of rest and we’ll go from there.”

To be continued….


22 thoughts on “Planchette-Part 82

  1. Hey, thanks for visiting my blog and the good thing is it led me to the little bump. I like your writing and l think l will read the story from the beginning so that l see how it evolves

  2. Oh Sh@t, I had a feeling. Good research. I’ve had anemia and known a really close friend who had Leukemia but they never explained it so clearly. Well, written. I have had this page open on my browser to read and now I have finally read this page and plan on reading to catch up to where you are over the next day or two. Poor Oscar. At least these days it doesn’t have to be what it use to be. How long have you been thinking about Oscar’s problem being the Big L? I actually hadn’t gone in that dierection or else I blocked it. Well, done. jk

    1. I know ! Poor Oscar indeed! Well, I decided to google search Oscar’s symptoms and Leukemia was the closest match. I’ve had it in mind for quite a while. What had you thought that his mystery illness was?

  3. I envisioned something more drastic but it does make sense that it should be Leukemia. There are better chances of survival. He may need his mother’s assistance on this if it calls for a bone marrow transplant in the future. But let’s wait to see if he will need it. I will be reading more Thursday. You got ahead of me. So I need a few days to catch up. I was seriously thinking HIV. But I am not sure which is worse. Jk

    1. Leukemia can be pretty sinister. I researched his symptoms and it was the illness which matched them the best. Hmm HIV is probably worse I think!

  4. My comment disappeared at my end. Strange. It did before too. Well I do agree with you HIV is worse. My friend had AIDS went right past HIV. But I need to read further to see what is going to happen with the bone marrow tests. You research is impeccable. Need to go out in afternoon for a short while but once I get back I am going to get back on my laptop or tablet and read some more parts of your book. Looking forward to it. Now it is freezing where I am and need to get into bed under three comforters. Do some writing and ear buds to absorb the loudness of my music and soon sleep will arrive. Night and Have a good day. jk 🙂

    1. Ah thanks! I have been very careful with research and I’ve been looking on the NHS website for info! It’s really cold where I am too but I think I will be fine with a cardigan! Goodnight jk! Thanks so much for your great feedback! I really appreciate it! 🙂

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