Yes. The first thing I wanted to ask you was, they put you on the pill because you were having heavy periods as part of your symptoms. But presumably the treatment will have done something to your fertility?
Yes and when they said they were going to start treatment, in the room I had my consultant, who’s kind of been my main consultant all the way through it, and one of the registrars, and the nurse and the cancer specialist nurse. And it was quite funny actually because by this time I was sitting and I was upright at this point so I was, because of the drugs, I was able to get up and walk about, so I was feeling quite smashing.
And my partner was sitting there, and from the word go, I mean there is always an issue if lesbians or gay men are going into hospital, there’s always the issue of, quite often, do we need to face people’s discrimination? Do we need to face people’s disapproval? And that’s always a fear. I mean I think that saying that lesbians and gays have got equality, we’re only part of the way there, we’re really only part of the way there. And we still face discrimination and we still face disapproval. And I think when you’re feeling so sick and so ill and you’re really, really scared, it’s important that your partner’s involved in that, and it’s important that you don’t need to think about that. And I never experienced any homophobia at all.
And the reason why, when you’ve asked me that question, the reason why I’m going into that is because the very next day after they diagnosed me and they were coming in to tell me about treatment, my consultant says, ‘Now there’s going to be a number of side effects that you need to consider.’ And he said about hair loss and all of this sort of stuff, and he says, “And also there’s a good chance that it could make you infertile”. And I never even blinked, I was like that, “Right, and next?” And I think it was that thing that he knew about her being my partner, he didn’t want to make the assumption that because we were two women we wouldn’t want to have children, so he was trying to cover all the avenues. And I just went, “Forty-two. No. Not interested. Just move on, right. I don’t care about them.” And I says, ‘I know that would be an issue for other women.’
And I think he put it very, very sensitively and he says, “Look. I’m going to explain it to you anyway”, he says, “Just in case.” And I says, “Do you mean I’m going to go through the menopause?” I was quite excited by this. And he said, “No. You might be infertile, it’s different”. And I was going, “Oh right okay.” But he explained the process and I was thinking it was very, very sensitive of him, because it could have been an issue for us, and because I’d actively made a choice years and years and years ago that I didn’t want children, as had my partner, all of a sudden I thought that must be awful for women coming in here who do want to have children and they’re faced with that.
So no when they offered it he was trying to say all the right things and be very, very sensitive and not make assumptions. And I just went, “No. It’s okay. You’re fine. It’s not a problem. Not an issue for us.” And he was like, “Right. Okay.” But I mean since then when they put me on the pill I just thought it was hysterically funny. You know, forty-two years of age, never been on the pill and here I am on the pill.