Monday, 29 June 2009

Waiting For Scan Results

I am waiting for the results of my latest MRI scan and feeling sick with worry. I think, in lucid moments, that the scan only tells me what is there, and doesn't change anything. But that doesn't feel to be the case today. Today the scan result can change a lot! There is always a lag between having the scan and getting results, but knowing this and despite having experienced it many times it still doesn't get any easier. I think I should be used to it by now. But I'm not. I can be philosophical about the result -

"I am where I am and the scan doesn't change anything - it's just information. "

"The result doesn't matter because it's only a snapshot of that one moment, and a look backwards at what has happened, and not what is happening."

But whatever I try to tell myself, I can't shake of the dread, the sickening worry. "Has it grown ? Has it woken up ? Is there any kind of help if that does happen ; does the information actually make any difference at all at the end of the day, or am I just satisfying my oncologist's curiosity ? " Am I just giving myself a four minute warning ? Do I want a four minute warning or do I want to live in ignorance for as long as possible ?

Of course I want warning now. I don't quite know why. Well, perhaps I do. I'd step up my efforts and just sit chanting and meditating in my chair, drinking vegetable juice and breathing so deeply I'll be in a trance like state of numbness. Or I'd go the other way and eat, drink and make merry. Can you make merry knowing the clock is ticking ?

Sadly, I don't think the scans are all that helpful, but they're available ... and they say information is power. It's just that from past experience I've come to realise that the information just gives me reassurance that I can bank the past. That's safe. I've got that and it can't be taken away from me. Unfortunately the future is still uncertain. I'm starting from a place that's not worse, but I'm also not starting from a place that's better. And my starting point isn't good. So I sit here worrying myself sick for a result that at best means there's no change to a bad situation and at worst that the clock's started ticking again. A bomb still detonated and waiting to go off.

I hate the waiting. It's pointless sitting here posting about it when I could go join my friends at gardening and try to distract myself. But my hearts not in it. I'm on red alert. I'm immobile, frozen in the headlights of the result wondering will it run me over or pass by with a woosh of wind leaving me shaking in its wake. i wouldn't mind if the result might leave me euphoric. I know that's not going to happen. I have lost my fragile hope of remission. There's been no change and all the medical staff think I'm deluding myself ( all bar my McMillan nurse who does a great job of persuading me that he thinks what I'm doing is making a difference. Of course it is. Emotionally. But what I want is physical improvement. I want a cure, not a healing.

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