Tuesday 23rd I had an appointment for a routine scan at 9.15 am. The day before I suddenly remembered that I needed to get a blood test before hand. The problem was that I had completely forgotten that it was Easter and everything was shut. What to do? I would be very apologetic and take a chance that they would be able to do the blood test and then fit my scan in a bit later. It would mean hanging around, but I didn’t want to miss the appointment nor the check up booked for today.

The Tuesday morning I got up early to get to the blood-testing department as it opened at 7.30. I couldn’t believe it, there were 53 people in the queue ahead of me. Well, I had better be patient and hope for the best. When I got to the registration desk, they told me that there was no request for any blood test in their booking system and sent me up to the oncology department to ask what had happened. It turned out that oncology had forgotten to request the blood test. So instead of it being my fault that I had messed things up – it was theirs and it was them who were very apologetic instead! The end result was that I was rushed through the blood testing process and my scan was delayed by about 30 minutes. I felt that fortune had smiled on me.

Now I am just back from the check up and Peter Meydahl says that there is no change from last October. So it’s all good.

Physically, I am getting stronger keeping active and weigh 54kg. Mentally I am getting stronger by painting and studying stoicism.

One of the stoic exercises is to imagine the very worst that can happen to you so that if it does happen you are prepared. I’ve been thinking about it this week as I have been a bit anxious about the check up and the possibility of knowing I have new metastases. On the other hand isn’t it rather stupid and a waste of time to worry about something that may not happen? The wisdom of the stoics dawned on me as we sat in the waiting room. I put both feet flat on the floor to anchor myself, took deep breaths and shut my eyes to still the rising emotions and think objectively about the situation. It was almost a pleasure to be able to walk into the doctor’s office ready, calm and in control for whatever might come.