Last night I had the third PET scan of my life, the 28th scan of my life in total and as I was sat there I realised that for me it’s the waiting that’s the worst part of the whole Cancer process.
I’m not sure if before Cancer I was ever as conscious of waiting before, sure I waited in a queue, at an airport but I’m not sure I was conscious of every excruciating minute ticking by, every morning waking up knowing that another day is there to wait through.
Yes I make myself busy, I fill my days with work and distractions but always there in the back of my mind is the knowledge that I’m waiting for the phone to ring or the e-mail to pop up telling me my results or the date of the next treatment. In this case I’m waiting for the call from the surgeon to book in my procedure to have this nasty little shit removed from my lymph node. I’m also waiting for the results of this scan to tell me if it’s spread.
I’m fortunate in that it’s not my sleep that’s affected it’s the remaining 16 hours of my day. My concentration diminishes and my attention span reduces to that of a hyperactive Labradoodle.
I know this wait will pass though I know the surgeon will call and I know that the results will be in and the Cancer train will roll out of the station with me on board and the waiting will be over and the journey will have started in earnest.
It’s the wait between Cancers that has informed my life though, when I was first in remission I was waiting for what seemed like an inevitable relapse and I led my life accordingly. Over time though I’ve learned to manage better and push the thoughts of what might be to the back of my mind and to focus on the hear and now.
For me it doesn’t matter what I do and what I am as long as I am doing something with my life. If my illness comes back then I won’t have wasted my time waiting I will at least have done something with it, I work with the Livestrong Foundation, I’m a patient advocate for UCARE and I raise money by pushing myself, whether an Ironman, climbing Kilimanjaro or Cycling a thousand miles in 9 days. It’s about taking as much and giving as much to this life as I can.
That’s the point though I believe, if you do feel like your waiting at least don’t waste that time you don’t have to follow my example go play a round of Golf with your Dad, watch your sons football match just suck the marrow out of life a little bit more. Do something to make the wait, if there is one, more bearable and if Cancer never returns then the worst you’ll have is a more fulfilled life.