DO they KNOW who I am? That is a line I would never use because I would be too embarrassed and not too surprised to realise that nobody knew who I was and, more to the point, didn’t care!

In fact, I learned from the master. Apparently Elvis Presley always introduced himself by name and never assumed anyone would know who he was.

This week, however, a colleague suggested I use that spoiled celebrity line just to see where it got me. And truth is, for the first time in my life, I am tempted to take her advice.

I feel like using the “Do you know who I am” card because, far from having my identity stolen, it has completely disappeared!

As I mentioned six weeks ago, I have had breast cancer. Had a successful op and both before and after I praised the breast care department, the nurses, surgeon and Uncle Tom Cobley and all.

I sailed through the op and was back at work in a fortnight.

Then I waited for my referral back to the surgeon and to the oncologist who will tell me what further treatment I would need.

Nothing happened but I waited patiently.

Then, last Thursday, I realised it was nearly five weeks since the op.

I rang the breast clinic and left a message. On Friday someone from the breast clinic phoned. It was not in answer to my call but a routine one to see how I was, had my wound healed and so on.

I mentioned my call of the previous day and she told me that, yes, she had been surprised that I had no ongoing appointments on my file but she was sure someone would look into it.

On Monday I rang the surgeon’s secretary who hunted high and low and had to come to the conclusion that I did not exist.

She could not even find proof that I had undergone surgery, never mind find any follow-up appointments.

She said she would follow it up and I would hear in due course.

Everyone makes mistakes. You will find it hard to believe, but even I have erred. And when it comes to losing paperwork, just watch me rifling through seven notebooks to find an interview I did on a day I don’t remember with a person whose name was something or the other.

I am not one who can cast stones.

I am, however, the one who never shed a tear through two cancer diagnoses and two lots of surgery.

This time I sat in the sun during our beautiful May and thought how lucky I was.

Today, for the first time, I cried over cancer.

Being forgotten, overlooked or lost is not making a big of different to my health as far as I know and I am sure that everything will be sorted out in the end.

What I didn’t realise, though, was that I have been holding my breath waiting for everything to be over; waiting to see if I will need the radiotherapy I’ve been told is very likely; waiting to say goodbye to cancer and its treatment.

This will all happen, of course. The papers will be found, or not found. I will see the surgeon and the oncologist and the only difference will be that of a matter of weeks. The only difference is that a simple clerical error leaves me feeling vulnerable, alone and abandoned. I mean, do they KNOW who I am?