My very first thought as I opened my eyes this morning was that today was my scheduled 3 monthly check up at the Cancer Centre. My second thought this morning was that today was my scheduled 3 monthly check up at the Cancer Centre! And somewhere in between those two thoughts and the ensuing panic was the complete disbelief that it had been 90 days since my last visit.
I had bloods taken yesterday and am very pleased to announce that this was done without any incidents, not even a murmur of needing to use a foot! I am even more pleased to admit that the usual feeling of dread was also absent as I opened those doors – I had absolute faith that my veins would not let me down! A reminder that time does heal, even those experiences burned deep into our psyche.
Pete met me at the Cancer Centre and despite the fact that we were trying VERY hard to treat this as a totally normal, unscary visit – just walking into the building was a reminder that those psyche wounds were really only rather thinly covered by some very real and barely healed scars.
The waiting room was (sadly) full when I arrived so I found a quiet spot in the corridor and debated whether I should have that familiar comforting cup of hot chocolate as I waited to be called. Pete arrived a short time later, and despite me reassuring him that very morning that I would be TOTALLY fine to go on my own, I was very happy to see him! I had almost forgotten how scary it was to sit there on my own.
I did however lose the battle of wills against the hot chocolate, but in my defence it was a cold, well a cooler, day and I think we both needed the comfort and the sugar!
It seemed rather appropriate to our mood, sitting in the corridor, rather like naughty school children awaiting the wrath of the Principal. (Not that I know what that feels like!). And although we smiled, greeted and chatted to the staff walking past, we both finally agreed in whispers, that we REALLY didn’t like being there.
So the Dent Doctor didn’t think the sharp pains I had been experiencing in my head for the last two weeks were an indication of a brain tumour nor was the swollen “gland” in my right armpit an indication of lymphatic cancer. To his credit, he didn’t laugh, not even once.
Even after I apologised for being a tad paranoid, he smiled and reassured me by saying that at least I know my body well. Perhaps a little too well was my thought as I wiped my brow!
I had this very discussion with another survivor this week – would any pain or discomfort ever just be solved with a pill and forgotten, or would we always be held hostage by aches and pains and only ever convinced by a scan and a visit to the Oncologist that the cancer had not come back?
He declared that the spasm in my neck was probably the real cause of my brain tumour symptoms and that the swollen gland was in fact a band of tight muscle – things that could be probably be fixed with another massage (did I mention just how much I like this man!) and that I was fit and well!
We made an appointment to see him in another 90 days, and just like that, while driving out the grounds my head pains disappeared!
“My friend…care for your psyche…know thyself, for once we know ourselves, we may learn how to care for ourselves” -Socrates”
“Words! What power they hold. Once they have rooted in your psyche, it is difficult to escape them. Words can shape the future of a child and destroy the existence of an adult.
Words are powerful. Be careful how you use them because once you have pronounced them, you cannot remove the scar they leave behind.”
― Vashti Quiroz-Vega
“Stories are psycho-diagnostic ― they diagnose the condition of our psyches. When we watch, read or hear a story, whatever detail jumps out reflects an issue in our psyche that requires our attention.”
― Thea Euryphaessa