Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Monday 2nd February

On Wednesday I will go for blood tests, a chest x-ray and an abdominal ultrasound. All routine and have not been stressing me particularly.

Until they are understood to be what they actually are: tests to check if everything is okay.

What happens if they show something?

I haven’t actually thought of them in this way. I suppose, though, that this is a legitimate question. What does happen if something shows up? How will I feel?

What’s to be done is the easy part, I suppose – get on with it and treat whatever does show. How to deal with it, that would be the hard part. Especially already seeing the effect of the fallout on others. No-one deserves to be put through this. Definitely not more than once.

The chances of the tests showing something sinister are very small, of that I’m sure. I suppose that the unknown is worrying, though, to anyone.

It’s amazing how not knowing something definitely can put a horrible spin on things. I have put on weight in the last little while – not necessarily particularly noticeable to others, but I know. I’m pretty sure a lot of it has to do with the fact that I have not been as physically active recently as before, plus the possible effects of chemo, plus just eating the wrong things. Immediately, though, I have some more suspicious thoughts about why – what if? Could it be because of…?

Silly thoughts, really, but real nonetheless.

A brush with something like cancer makes you look at many things differently. Sicknesses suddenly take on a more sinister feel. Again, the what if?

One thing I’m sure about with this whole cancer thing is that it has been the absolutely right thing to have followed the medical advice. Even worse than the ‘what ifs’ would be ‘if only’. From the moment the lump was found, there was absolutely no choice but to follow the medical protocol.

To me, these tests are just the next step in that process. They are identical to the tests I had just after seeing the surgeon for the first time. I’m sure they are standard and are done on every breast cancer patient.

All that does not take away all of the sense of threat and the possible horror of the results.

What if? may rule for the moment, but at least, if I continue to do as advised, it will not ever be an ‘if only’.

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