I’m going to have to get used to this, as this will be a regular thing, every 3-6 months depending upon how often the oncologist thinks he needs to take a look at my internal workings! This scan feels SUPER HUGE as it will determine whether my first line of treatment has worked – has the tumour on my spine disappeared (there will always be scarring) with the radiotherapy and the chemotherapy, and can we keep it under control with the ongoing treatment (next infusion Monday; and swapping Exemestane to evenings seems to have improved my sleep considerably – the knees are creaking a whole lot more though)?
Mentally I am feeling very battered and exhausted (as well as physically, but it’s the mental that is harder to manage), so my friend Beth came to stay with me (and is currently working on one of my jigsaws) to help ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’. I’m on a writing retreat with work next week, so that will keep me busy, and then results come in on 15th (hopefully they won’t be late!). So yesterday, I caught up with emails and worked on a form in the morning, then we headed in for the scan:
Back through the paperwork (again), and then it was ensuring that all metal was off, and into the ‘smartie tube’ or ‘toilet roll holder’ of an MRI scanner. It’s 15 years old (I was told), they make them a little bigger these days, and I think the music actually works in some of the others. Anyway, I hummed to myself and thought about some of the stuff I’m writing to keep myself occupied – felt longer than the half-hour they said it would be, and Beth said that I was gone for over an hour! Always a relief to be ‘released from the tube’, though despite the air conditioning, my arms stick to the side, so always fun to be pulled out.. and the relief on my face always a picture!
Amazing how exhausting lying still in the machine is – must be all the adrenaline pumping around my body! So we headed to the cinema (don’t think I’ve been since Greatest Showman in Dec 17?), the ‘new’ one near me … I like it – good seats (reclining), foot room, can buy hot drinks or wine and take into the cinema for Toy Story 4:
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We enjoyed that, included a few actual LOL moments, before heading to Pizza Hut, where Beth has discovered she can eat there despite her multiple allergies – having not had pizza for about 30 years!
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By this point was totally shattered, so it was off to bed… very weird dreams last night. Think am rattled by waiting for scan results, the fact that 4 people in my age group have died this week from secondary breast cancer (which I have), and something that I thought was sorted at work doesn’t seem to be, requiring further conversations.
Dr Bex Lewis is passionate about helping people engage with the digital world in a positive way, where she has more than 20 years’ experience. She is Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing at Manchester Metropolitan University and Visiting Research Fellow at St John’s College, Durham University, with a particular interest in digital culture, persuasion and attitudinal change, especially how this affects the third sector, including faith organisations, and, after her breast cancer diagnosis in 2017, has started to research social media and cancer. Trained as a mass communications historian, she has written the original history of the poster Keep Calm and Carry On: The Truth Behind the Poster (Imperial War Museum, 2017), drawing upon her PhD research. She is Director of social media consultancy Digital Fingerprint, and author of Raising Children in a Digital Age: Enjoying the Best, Avoiding the Worst (Lion Hudson, 2014) as well as a number of book chapters, and regularly judges digital awards. She has a strong media presence, with her expertise featured in a wide range of publications and programmes, including national, international and specialist TV, radio and press, and can be found all over social media, typically as @drbexl.