Monday, 27 July 2009

the day before 'The Check Up' – screaming. quietly…

what I have wanted to know for a while is this: WHY do we get so distressed about having this check up?  And I think I may have discovered the answer.

Weeks before, I am thinking about what 'could' happen, what 'might' happen – the worst scenarios and the best. Plan A and Plan B. [gotta have those – control, control…]. And I know I am not alone in this. At first I thought I was, but now I know better.

EVERYONE who has had cancer [any kind – oh, and how fun that there are so many varieties of this fucking disease!!] that I know, freaks out in the weeks preceding The Check Up. It's odd, as as soon as I walk into the Oncology department I am totally Zen. I have a comfort zone there, as they are the people who saved my life, so if they did it once, in a worst case scenario, they can do it again. So, once I am there I am calm and totally 'in the zone'. Am I naive? Am I stupid? Or am I realistic?

But Aj put it completely into perspective for me when he said that actually, this is a 'life or death' appointment. And he's right.

It is life or death.

And that's scary. I never really managed to think it through until he said that, but I think that's actually what makes us all into quivering wrecks. And please, anyone, correct me if I'm wrong here. But for me, the [almost] subliminal thought that 'this time' could be the time that they tell you it's come back. That bastard cancer. That sneaking, murdering, hideous little cell that could kill me if I let it. It could be the day that I discover I am going to die of this disease. Soon. And in pain. Probably in agony. It could be the day that I discover I have to have more chemo. Or some new treatment. Or more surgery. Or that they can't do anything more for me because I am terminal. Or anything.

It's a screaming unknown. And we go into it screaming. Quietly. And hiding the screams with laughter or chatter or blasé remarks. Trying to be POSITIVE. BEING positive.

But the screams batter round your brain….echoing hell. A hell no-one can see.

How positive can we be?? I know I try so hard. It takes almost all my energy. Day in, day out, trying to just keep a cheerful face on…and I know my friends do too. But what if the surgeon / doctor / oncologist gives one that bad news? How strong do we have to be?  How strong CAN we be? Do we have to just carry on 'being positive' because friends and relatives expect it of us? Or is there a point we reach that we just say: "no, enough"…

I hope I never, ever have to find out.


  1. You really encapsulated my thoughts here.

    I totally agree with your "plan A and plan B" I do the same thing :( Stupid stupid! We SHOULD just enjoy - but instead we feel like we are walking to the electric chair.

    Good luck tomorrow! I'll be thinking of you and Julie.

    big cyberhugs!!

  2. I echo everything you just said. It is life or death and seeing first hand what it can do to people, both physically and emotionally when that dreaded appointment doesn't go well, makes it all the more real. We have an insight that not many people have and most days I wish I were one of those lucky people:) Good Luck!!


  3. Good luck Sandhy. I know what you mean.

  4. thanks girls - wouldn't it be nice to be back in those blissfully ignorant days when we knew next to nothing about what was going on inside us? Back to where our biggest bitch was having a horrendous period...back to when we didn't know an ovary from an eggplant? ;o)

    Oh well, onward and upward eh?!

  5. With you on this all the way Sandhy.. Even now when i have my 6 month check ups, i'm a quivvering wreck!

    Be thinking of you and Julie today chuck xxx

  6. Great Post! This is such a common experience - I have a check-up approaching - and you captured the feeling well. I am thinking of printing the post in this coming Wednesday's Guest Post feature at Will let you know. Take care, Dennis

  7. hey Dennis. thanks - GOOD LUCK with the check up - they're a so-and-so aren't they?

    Yes, do let me know if you use my post please. I will then share my fame on Facebook heh heh. We have two groups on there now - spreading the word and lots of support - amazing.

    I wonder how people coped before they could do what we do and share so much info and fellowship.

    We're so lucky! :o)


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