The Seagulls Song

A young woman discovers she has breast cancer and tells her friend and neighbour- her son is a promising young footballer and his father likes a pint or three. Get the hankies ready when reading this one.


29. 29

The surgery was full this morning she thought as Margaret went to the receptionist to tell her she had arrived for her appointment.

“Please take a seat Mrs Johansson the doctor will see you presently.”

Margaret and her friend Yvonne sat among all the others waiting to be seen.

Ten minutes later she was called; she rose slowly from her chair and her friend gripped her hand and told her not to think the worst.

“Please sit Mrs Johansson said Dr Gofton.”

“We have the results of your blood test and I’m afraid it isn’t good news. You have an aggressive type of cancer. You will need to start chemotherapy and radium treatment right away. I want you to go right now to the Newcastle RVI. Here is a letter that will explain everything.

“How long have I got to live doctor said Margaret?

“Six to eight months at the most.”

“Is that without treatment doctor?

“No Mrs Johansson; without treatment I envisage that it could be a matter of weeks.

Yvonne was consoling Margaret who was visibly upset.

“I’m very sorry Mrs Johansson; I wish there could have been a better way to break the news but I find coming straight to the point saves a lot of pain.”

“For who Doctor; certainly not the patient said Yvonne as she led her friend out of the doctor’s surgery.

They crossed the road at Railway Terrace and bought tickets at the North Shields Train station. They went through the turnstile then down the ramp and onto the platform.

The train arrived five minutes later; after everyone had boarded the guard blew the whistle and the train moved slowly away.

“The doctor can sometimes get it wrong you know Margaret; once you have this treatment you never know.”

“Yes let’s hope he’s wrong then aye.”


Once the receptionist had read her letter one of the nurses can and asked Margaret to come with her. They went into the Radium room where she had a breast screen to tell them how far the cancer had advanced and if it had travelled to other organs in the body. Then she was given a dose of radiotherapy and finally she was given and injection with a combination of drugs, Cyclophosphamide, Methotrexate, and Flourouracil.

She had to wait in the hospital for an hour and have a cup of tea before being allowed home. She was told of the side effects of the chemotherapy and the radiotherapy that was used to either kill or stop the growth of the tumour inside her breast.



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