Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Wednesday 6th May

I am scared for the scopes on Friday. Well, not really scared, but definitely a lot nervous and concerned about the process and, strangely, the outcome.

If I am brutally honest with myself, I cannot find an understanding, or even the slightest hint of there being anything wrong. There is just this underlying concern about the unknown, though, that does worry me.

I think, in part, it’s because I know there is so much we don’t know. I think it’s also a sense of having experienced the surrealness of the reality and threat of cancer, without ever actually having seen any evidence of either.

Part of the whole thing is that I am the sort of person who needs to know the complete range of what faces me and then I can sort my way through it. On the one hand, the possible outcome of the scopes is that there is absolutely nothing wrong, everything is normal in my stomach and gut and the whole exercise was just a kind of ‘keeping tabs’ on what is happening inside me. On the other extreme, though, the possible outcome is that the doc discovers something sinister that has to be treated. Then, the exercise will have been diagnostic and a voyage of discovery, leading to the next step in the process.

I will definitely be placed somewhere on the continuum.

I am sure that my place will be at the ‘everything is fine’ end of the spectrum. There is, of course, always that little niggle that I could be anywhere, even at the other end.

This cancer thing does this to a person – makes you aware of potential threats even when they don’t necessarily exist. Of course, there’s always what happened to me, too – the discovery of something through a routine examination of which there was absolutely no hint and no evidence of any kind. Except what the expert doc found on examination.

That’s the point, I suppose, of having doctors, routine examinations and tests like the scopes: have them done, so that you know one way or the other. There is nothing like a sense of knowing to put the brain into a kind of ‘fight the good fight’ mode. I know that I am a control freak of a kind, in that I want to know what is going on, which then tells me what it is I need to do.

If there is something going on in my insides, then I need to know, so that I can take the necessary steps to deal with it. If there is nothing in particular going on, then all for the good and I know that what I am doing and what I am eating is fine.

Quite simply, I need to know.

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