18. Mrs O the day before the big O

The day before the operation, I was in school for 8am and in our Faculty briefing where I presented the EBacc team with a large jar of chocolates to say thank you for sorting me out and covering me for the next few weeks.   Little did I know but they’d clubbed together and got me a red cross parcel of lovely items to keep me going.

I taught my lessons and finished teaching at 1.20pm and as the year 11s trooped off to lunch quite a few said “good luck miss”. Deep breath, I can do this.

I went up to the “top corridor” to say I was off and was hugged by all the top corridor girls – that made me teary and then I walked home, laden down with lovely gifts from the faculty and others.

We talk about our school being a family and I certainly felt part of it as I was enveloped with kindness.  Not all schools or work places are like mine.  I was so, so, so fortunate that my career had taken me in the direction of this particular school as they had been there for me, when I was flakey and when I was okay.

That afternoon two friends came over, one who’d had breast cancer and one who hadn’t, both were lovely and supportive and were then joined by my mum.  Nothing more could be said.

I just needed to get on with it.

I had booked into a spin class but couldn’t face it so cancelled.  Oh no… what about my final bit of fitness!

Later that evening my Head Teacher popped round, despite it being presentation evening at school and she had lots to do.  She was laden with more presents and good wishes – more kindness.  This included a wonderful journal with many inspiring quotes. A last big hug from her and I was signed off from school.  It was real and the operation was happening.

SMT present

Nick and I had a quiet evening, ate supper, sat on the sofa and held hands, I didn’t feel that I had totally got this, was truly awesome and capable… and then I packed my Derriford “holiday hospital” bag – I would be away for a minimum of 3 nights.  The alarm was set for 7am to give me plenty of time to have a cup of clear tea and a piece of toast before heading to the impossible car park.

Tip:  Don’t expect to be able to sleep well the night before the big op. 

Author: fionaosmaston

I live in Plymouth, Devon with my husband Nick and near my parents Sandy and Sheena. Our three children, Marcus, Phoebe and Miles are grown up. I am a geographer and love teaching Geography. My current role is as an Assistant Vice Principal in an inner city comprehensive school where I lead on coaching and initial teacher training. In August 2017 I was diagnosed with invasive lobular carcinoma and following a skin sparing mastectomy and endrocrine/hormone treatment I am now awaiting a final reconstruction. These views are my own and writing this story has helped me come to terms with where I am in this interlude of life which has been dominated by breast cancer.

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