I am in the midst of the Landmark days, and have just marked my first Cancerversary. It is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Twang Arm and I are in a constant battle, each edging to an advantage and then conceding slightly with a formation of strange advance retreat dance like steps. And just to make sure I don’t forget about Breast Cancer, the Big Check is imminent.
It was scheduled for the second week of November, but a series of complications has built up around that time, and it seemed wise to bring the check forward. It is now due to take place on 28 October which is less than 2 weeks away and to say I am scared is a massive understatement. I am terrified.
I am afraid to go for the checks because I do not want to hear unwelcome news. However, I am also afraid to not go for the checks, because if there is anything worrying then it has to be treated, and the earlier the better. Living in ignorance feels the same as living in fear and dread. As always, however, the rational and the emotional side do not sit comfortably together, and no matter how much I rationalise the importance of the check, it does not make me any more willing or enthusiastic. I really do not want to go, but I know I must, and of course, I will. (Before you get any ideas and start to lecture me!)
Of course we all hope and kind of expect that all will be fine. I feel well, I am on good form and there is no sign or reason to think cancer might be back. The reality, however, is that it is invisible and often gives no indications in its early manifestation. That is why I have a variety of tests to check comprehensively and see if there is any sign at all of even the tiniest cancer presence.
We all know the ideal scenario. Thorough tests and Drs W and W2 grinning as they tell me there is No Evidence of Disease (NED). There is no way of getting to that point, however, without extreme anxiety that we arrive at the scenario we don’t want.
And the problem with that unwanted scenario is that we don’t need to stretch the imagination at all to imagine it, because we have already been there.