Saturday, 5 November 2011


I have just had the result from my scan and the verdict is that the cancer is still stable and that there's no change. I am relieved and restored to calmness. 

I was quite anxious this time - partly due to having gained weight. I have been told  things about what can happen in the future which make gaining weight around my tummy frightening. And losing weight can be equally frightening. A catch 22 of my mind. But as I have now been given more time and the reassurance that it's not the cancer growing I will take steps to lose the weight.

Did I mention I was anxious ? Of course I was. I think most people are anxious at scan time.  I practice meditation, and I do it regularly. But I thought that it wasn't working and that perhaps I wasn't actually meditating. ( My memory went to pieces ! ) But last night - having had the results yesterday morning  - I knew that I had been meditating, and that it had made a difference. I felt so much calmer last night. Clearly I had just become overwhelmed. I prepare myself for scans ahead of time. My oncologist asks me to remind him and request a scan when it's due. It ensures that I don't fall through any cracks. But on this occasion there was a breakdown in communication. I give him 3 weeks now to make arrangements. I don't like to give more in case I seem too eager, too demanding. But I've given less time in the past and I've had to wait longer. In itself that's not so bad, but I have worked out the timing so that scans don't fall around holiday times - summer and Christmas. Delays throw that careful management out of sync. This time my oncologist asked for a scan for three months hence. Horror ! I know logically that it means he's confident about me, but this 5 year mark has resonance with me. Add to that my weight gain ( I know most people think it's weight loss that's the problem. Perhaps I mean inches more than weight as I don't weigh myself ) and my diet slipping, and I got to a position where I wanted to know, and I wanted to know NOW !

It's a pity that I don't feel celebratory. I don't feel overjoyed, or lightened, or even happier. I can't at this point even say I truly feel relieved . I suppose that's because the scan confirms that the cancer is still there. But I don't feel numb. I don't feel pessimistic. I don't feel fatalistic. I feel calm. I feel quiet. I have peace of mind today. No fanfare. No drums. No celebration. Just a change in my ability to function, to look forward, to go about my business. And tremendous peace and calm after the turbulent and cacophonous internal storm of the past few weeks. It's been noisy in my mind. Full of apprehension and preparations for the worst.

I'm writing this so that next time I'll remember this anxiety and fear. So I'll know it's normal apprehension and not some internal "knowing" that some people think our bodies have access to ( like the idiot consultant at Harrogate for one !!! ) . One of the harder things about my cancer is knowing that I can't tell. That I won't be able to tell till things are pretty bad again. That there aren't telltale sensations in my body that can be picked up early. Though I suppose early is a relative term in cases of metastatic disease. And as there are so many forms that metastatic disease takes, my experience is different to anyone else's.

So today I am grateful. Grateful for the good news. Grateful for more time. Grateful for my health. Grateful that my life is still mine, that I can spend time with my family and friends. That I still have my Independence. That I can still enjoy the glorious days and this wonderful world. Grateful for everything that life implies - touch, taste, sight , smell, hearing, friendship and love, emotion and contentment. I am so just so grateful for time, for more time. Thank you Universe !!

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