One of the most infuriating things is being kept on hold, in a queue to speak to a robot on the phone which is neither able or authorised to answer your questions while you are being told you are valuable and tortured by inane muzak. My next round of checks are approaching rapidly. It is that dreadful nail-biting time when I find myself unable to plan beyond the checks. Life again feels as if it is on hold and I am being restrained from moving forward, or in any direction.
I was reasonably relaxed (apart from the odd bouts of imaginary cancers) until around a month before the check. Now I am down to counting days (19 days ok?) and the checks are at the forefront of my mind. This time I will have an additional CT scan which is adding to my anxieties. This is to keep an eye on a couple of marks on my liver which the CT scan showed at my Big Check in October. Now, I am thankful that I do not have to wait for the year to pass before another scan, just in case it is anything nasty. The doctors were not concerned about the marks, but felt it would be cautious to repeat the scan and see if the any changes. The October scan is a baseline to measure any change against. And of course it will be hugely reassuring – as long as it doesn’t show any nasty and unwelcome changes. That, of course, is the big question and the one which is blocking my vision beyond the checks. Keeping me on hold.
I am a highly skilled worrier, and my regular bouts of cancer scares increase as I approach the checks. I am so relieved to know that I am not alone. It is a clear case of the Breast Cancer glasses skewing everything again. So when I read a marvellous post which conveyed the fears of one of my blogging pals, I totally related to what she was saying. I was completely with her in her fear that she thought she had thigh cancer. It didn’t sound in the slightest unreasonable to me, and in fact entirely plausible. And given that I have had a number of scares, including a nasty mosquito bite tumour scare, more than anything it reassured me that this paranoia is part of the Breast Cancer Comprehensive Package.
Indeed many of our scares can be easily explained by an innocent cause. But there is always that chance that the sneaky cancer beast has snuck in again and Dr Google is always happy to add fuel to the fire. There is a perennial balancing act between cautious vigilance for worrying signs or symptoms, and over reaction.
I am enormously grateful for my regular checks, I must emphasise that. However, inherent in the checks is the fact that there is always the possibility that they reveal something sinister. That is why they happen, after all. And there is nothing I can do but clench my teeth and go through the range of tests and examinations required and wait patiently for the wise words of the Drs W and W2.
So I have no choice but to hold on tight for the coming couple of weeks. And trust that after that I will not need to be kept on hold any longer.