An unsettling day

As someone who used to have cancer, I am often asked is everything OK now. My usual response is "I hope so. It should be."

I am always living with the consequences though. The cancer was stage IV which meant my treatment was full on, and the surgery substantial. Thank goodness it was caught before any secondaries took hold. Life goes on and I don't always think about it, but my daily routines after surgery are and never will be the same as before.

Today is a significant day as I go for my annual CT scan. My response to "Is everything OK now?" will be more accurate in a few days time when I get the result.

Am I anxious? A teensy bit. But also: Bring it on!

I don't relish the thought of the barium drink and the injection of contrast media, not to mention the general tedium of an hour or so hanging round the X-ray department, but it will certainly be reassuring to get the all clear (for now) at the end of it.

The whole process is unsettling. Two years on from surgery, it makes you remember what happened. Yesterday I was tired and emotional after a long drive home from work (until I re-set my emotional clock with an hour or so of ballet - hurrah!). It is difficult not to allow the occasional nagging worry from creeping in. What if something shows up that shouldn't be there. I am well; there is no reason to suspect anything untoward, but the original diagnosis was so unexpected I have certainly learnt you can never be 100% sure.

I will get through this afternoon, and look forward to treats afterwards. My nurse appointment is later in the month, so until then I need to put any anxiety to one side. Indeed I can daydream about hearing the outcome as a positive 'nothing showed on the scan'.

A couple more years of quarterly blood tests and annual scans and I think they will declare me in remission. Then I'll go through a different sort of unsettling phase where there are no blood tests or scans to demonstrate that I'm still OK. When people ask if everything's alright now I'll still be saying: "I hope so. It should be." And optimist that I am, that's what I believe.