One month on, and still in the diagnostic process. Each test adds to what I know of the cancer, but it also adds to the bad news, the compromised lymph glands, the potential spread. Just the biopsies left now, for a positive identification of the cancer cells, then hopefully a treatment plan.
It has been the worst month I can remember, with stress levels off the scale and mood swings like I’ve never known before. I haven’t felt like writing a blog, or doing anything but essential stuff. I’ve sorted out my wardrobe, put together a list of letters and documents I need to write, and I’ve started winding up my small business. Thankfully, I’ve no writing commissions on the books right now, because I’ve not been able to string half a dozen words together lately.
All of this is negative. It has everything to do with endings, and nothing to do with continuation. Every time I open my diary, put in an appointment, it feels like an act of faith. The further ahead the date, the more faith it takes to write it down.
There have been islands of pleasure, at weekends, going out for days with my husband. We have found new places to visit, we have laughed, we have sat on benches in the sunshine watching the world go by. The silences, the long pauses between words, let in the sadness and it leaks into the brightness. We do our best to ignore it, but tears are never far away.
I’d love to be one of these brave people who can deal with the prospect of death with stoicism. Or perhaps no-one does. Perhaps the dark nights of the soul drag at us all in the end, and the rest is just bravado, putting on a good act to save our family and friends the distress of seeing how terrified we really are.
People who know these things tell me that I will feel better when all the test results are in and treatment starts. There will be a focus then, a clearer road to travel. I will fight like I’ve never fought before, and it will be quite a battle, I think. There are still things I want to do, things I’ve put off for other days, that suddenly seem important. The ‘other days’ aren’t there any more. The time is now.