Standing in the kitchen, staring at the dishes in the sink, I am overwhelmed by a novel feeling.
I’m free! Free of cancer. Free to live. Free to write my book. Free to travel. Free to fall in love. Free to do whatever I want.
On the one hand, I have been cancer free since the day I had the surgery, fourteen months and twenty-three days ago. On the other hand, the doctors don't give one the 'all clear' until five years have passed. For the whole of this year I have lived constantly with a barely submerged dread that it might return. In reality, nothing has changed since the day before yesterday. But somehow in my mind this feels like a major turning point in my recovery.
Today’s outing to Harley Street is to see my psychiatrist. “Fill this in,” he hands me the standard depression multiple-choice questionnaire:
Do you have thoughts of killing yourself?
Do you sleep more than usual?
Are you confused?
...and so on.
“This is remarkable,” he remarks, “Last time you scored 31. Now it’s 17. You’ve gone from severely depressed to only mildly depressed in a month.”
I beam at him.
“Whatever you’re doing, keep doing it. I don’t think I will need to see you again. Stay on the anti-depressants for another eight months. I will write to your GP.”
*Not the real answers.