In the weeks running up to the scan I begin to question every single ache and pain and worry that it might mean something. As well as this, the ludicrous number of irrational and often paranoid concerns begin to take over my head. The second scan took place in March 2014 when Andy was away in Australia for work and it was the day before Max’s 6th birthday. So for this scan I was terrified about how I’d tell Andy the imagined bad news whilst he was thousands of miles away and unable to get to me in any great hurry. I was also wondering how I’d manage to put a smile on my face and celebrate Max’s birthday if it all went wrong. On top of this Andy and I had promised ourselves we’d book tickets to go to New York to celebrate 20 years together if the scan was ok. Thankfully it was fine but the fear was almost paralyzing. This was one of the worst ones but at the September 2014 scan I convinced myself that I’d be punished for having had a big party to celebrate my birthday 3 days before. Somehow I’d have upset karma by celebrating turning 38. At the November scan I convinced myself that it was inevitably going to be a disaster as I’d been on the trial for a year and that was enough of a reason that the drugs would stop working……
So the pre-scan nerves are pretty terrifying but as scan day approaches the real fears kick in.
As I lie in the CT scanner and later as I sit in the outpatients department waiting for my results the same imaginary conversations go through my head.
I am filled with absolute dread and fear that the conversation will be like the one on Sep 24th 2013 when I felt like my world fell apart. When suddenly the life that I had imagined, where Andy and I would grow old together and my beautiful little boys would turn into beautiful young men, was ripped away from me.
I imagine that they will tell me that the scan shows some growth in the current tumours, or that there are new tumours. I imagine that my lovely smiling nurse will be looking sad or that the amazing Dr Larkin, who I’ve not seen since October 2014 will have been called in to see me to give me the ‘bad news’. I basically fear that the rug will be once again ripped out from under my feet and that the odd but rather lovely limbo that I currently live in will disintegrate.
Andy, Claire, my Mum and Dad have on various occasions all sat with me whilst we wait for results. They all know that I almost lose the ability to speak, apparently I go a bit grey as those terribly terrifying but very possible scenarios go through my head.
Strangely when I do get given the results the feeling of relief is remarkably short-lived. I think it must just be too complicated to be able to rejoice in being told that this time it’s all ok, this time, you’ve got a way with it.
At the November 2014 scan, once again, all was fine and because I’d now been on the trial for a year the scans have moved from 6 weeks to 12 weeks. Various people have asked me with this will give me more cause for worry but actually it doesn’t. I am seen so regularly by the doctors and I have blood tests before 2 out of 3 treatments in each 6 week period that I know that if there was anything to worry about the alarm would be raised. Instead I am relieved to have a greater break between scans. I only ever think ahead to the next one and living life in 12 week rather than 6 week cycles feels very liberating.
Turns out the fear of waiting 12 weeks is actually really paralyzing! The February 2015 scan (again stable) caused absolutely terror that all sorts of awful things might have happened in the previous 3 months. It’s still nice having a longer gap between scans as there is definitely more down time but the pre-scan nerves are definitely worse!