The toughest part of being on “watch and wait” are the days between going for blood tests and seeing the consultant to collect the results. Even though I now know the routine and I’m still feeling generally well, these “in between days” are the ones I find most difficult to cope with. I’m sure this is because that at one of these appointments, the results will mean chemotherapy will be starting, rather than being given a few more weeks of breathing space. I know that it’s nonsense to compare the experience with that of coming up for air while drowning, but I confess that the thought has crossed my mind on more than one occasion.
For me, the best way to cope with the days between the tests and the verdict is to keep myself busy. There’s certainly no shortage of things for me to do at work at the moment, and this weekend is particularly great for remaining distracted from the beast as I’m currently on my way down to London to see Emily’s play, “Stasis”, at the White Bear Theatre. (Plug: you have until 25th April to catch it, and it’s been receiving great reviews). All of the people on the train who are on their way to watch Liverpool United play Aston Wanderers at Wemberleeeeee are definitely going to the wrong 90 minutes of entertainment.
Once my haematology appointment is out of the way on Wednesday, and assuming that I’m still on watch and wait, things will return to normal rapidly. It’s not that I ever forget about the challenge that I’m facing but I’m lucky to have people around me – family, friends and work colleagues – that understand.
It’s why the “drowning man” analogy is rubbish. During these in between days, I need to keep reminding myself of that truth.