“Oscar! Stop it!”!
“You look like a frightened little rabbit caught in a car headlights! Please try to calm down.”
“Sorry if you feel that way, but I can’t help being so nervous.”
“Maybe I’ll need to have further tests?”
“Perhaps Oscar, but for now please stop stressing!”
“Stop telling me what to do! How do you know how I’m even feeling Ava? I just want to get this over with. You shouldn’t be coming to this appointment with me! It isn’t fair on you or our unborn baby.”
“It wont make any difference!”
“What happens if you get stressed again, we can’t have you going into labour not yet. Sometimes I really worry about you. I worry a lot.”
“Worry?” Ava scoffed “Since when do you worry about me?”
“You don’t even seem interested anymore about your own pregnancy.”
“Oh please explain this one to me Oscar!”
“Oh I shall! For example, when do you ever take the time to do any research or attend mother and baby classes? I suggested it months ago but you completely ignored me! I don’t think you care, not really.”
“Ava this is your first pregnancy, surely you should be reading up on the subject. I-I mean I have!”
“What precisely have you been reading we don’t own any books!”
“Yes but the library stock them, unlike you I am researching!”
“Well that’s great, I’m really happy for you Oscar, what do you want a medal or a little silver star?”
Oscar narrowed his eyes. “You’re mocking me!”
“Whatever. I don’t need to read baby books, it will come more naturally to me anyway! I’m the Mother afterall!”
“You should be reading!”
“Oh I do read! Just not sodding baby books! I’m going to have baby stuff up to my ears when it’s born but now, well, I’d quite like to enjoy my life and a bit of freedom. Oh no wait, someone else is already taking that away from me!”
“You’re actually unbelievable sometimes Ava!”
“Just get out of the God damn car Oscar!”
“I will when you calm down and stop blaspheming! Cool it! You can’t go around blaming me for making you stressed, when you bring it unsessecerily upon yourself. Don’t pull that face, you know exactly what I mean!”
“Oh shush! Do you know where you’re going, can you make it?”
“Yes and yes Ava!”
“Good, okay. Who is it that you’re seeing?”
“Urm Doctor Cassidy, you know like the singer.”
“You’ve lost me Oscar.”
“You know, Eva Cassidy and David Cassidy.”
Ava tutted, shaking her head.
“I like that top Ava, the royal blue really suits you. It brings out your lovely complexion.”
“Oh you noticed. It’s one of my new maternity ones.”
“It’s pretty. It’s this way Ava, to the reception I mean.” He gently grasped Ava’s hand, leading the way.
“Urgh! Your hand is really clammy.”
“Sorry, it must be down to nerves or a hot flush I guess!”
“Do you have your appointment card? I’m not going all the way back.”
“Why do you doubt me so much. I have it here, see?”
He gazed at the familiar receptionist, handing her his appointment card. “Thank you, have a seat. He wont be long.”
Oscar nodded. “Thanks.”
“How do you feel Oscar?”
“I have butterflies. Yeah I’m not going to lie, I’m extremely nervous.”
“L-lets go in.”
A white faced Oscar entered the doctors surgery eying the one chair which sat in the corner. He helped Ava to be seated. The health care assistant smiled.
“I’ll go and get you another chair.”
She returned swiftly and Oscar gratefully sat down upon the hard plastic chair.
“Hello Oscar, how have you been since the bone marrow aspiration?”
“Erm a bit achy and tired most of the time actually. I’ve been in quite a bit of pain, I could possibly do with better painkillers to tell you the truth.”
“What have you been taking?”
“Ibrupofen and paracetamol.”
“Ah, yes you’ll need something stronger. Now then,with your bone marrow biopsy results well, we found a vast number of unhealthy white blood cells, more than we’d usually expect.”
Oscar swallowed. “Oh God!”
I’m really sorry, there’s no easy way of saying this, you do have Acute Leukaemia.”
Oscar closed his eyes, placing his head in his hands.
“We will start to treat you right away with chemotherapy.”
“Is chemotherapy the only option?”
“There are others but chemotherapy is the most efficient.”
“How- how does it work?”
“There are different ways in which you can receive it. Orally in a pill form, into the spinal fluid or though a thin flexible tube inserted into the upper chest. Chemotherapy is usually given in cycles. Each cycle has a treatment period followed by a rest period.You may have your treatment here, but depending on how you react, some people may need to stay in the hospital for treatment.”
“What about side effects?”
“The side effects depend mainly on which drugs are given and how much. Chemotherapy kills fast-growing leukemia cells, but the drug can also harm normal cells that divide rapidly. It does effect blood cells, making you more at risk to infections. You’ve probably already noticed that you bruise more easily.”
“Yeah, I do. Will I lose my hair?”
“It is very common, but it will grow back.”
“What other problems could it cause?”
“Chemotherapy may damage sperm cells, you may feel very nauseous and suffer from muscle cramps.”
“It can’t be that different to what you’re already experiencing Oscar!” Ava piped in.
Oscar nodded. “W-when do I start treatment?”
“We’ll start you on a course of chemotherapy straight away.”
“How, how can you be so calm Oscar? What about me and our baby?” Ava gasped.
Oscar wiped away a tiny, forming tear. “I have no choice Ava. I can either fight this or give in. I choose to fight, it’s as simple as that really.”
To be continued….