Sunday, March 02, 2008

And The Dreamer Dreams His Dream

I've had trouble sleeping over the last few nights. I've been blaming it on having just too much to think about. I lie there, wide awake, counting the chores I need to yet complete, the walls still un-painted, the boxes still un-packed, the flat still un-rented.

There seem to be a million and one things running through my head during the darker hours of the night.

And then there is always this nagging fear, in the back of my head, successfully subdued over recent weeks, of recurrence and what my scan results will bring. I'd sort of almost forgotten about it, given I had so much else to sort in the meantime, but it reared it's head again last night in the form of a bizarre dream.

I was making repeat visits to a building, in a town which was full of regency architecture and sloping hills, reminiscent of Bristol or parts of Brighton. The building played a weird schizo role of being something between a set of student halls where parties would be happening down occasional corridors, and a medical institute where I was going to meet my doctors for my scans and check ups.

I was with my friend S. She seems significant. I'm sure she would hate knowing this but for a subtle twist of fate she is intrinsically linked, in my head, to my diagnosis. We enjoyed dinner together the night before my diagnosis back in March last year. For a while it felt, looking back, like some last evening of pleasure and fun unmarred by the knowledge of cancer. I even had a massive juicy steak - something I have not touched since because of the link between red meat and breast cancer.

Poor S. Recently I even avoided scheduling lunch with her because I had a physical exam booked with the Professor for the day after. That's how superstitious I am about repeating the pattern of events (we had lunch in the end - just the week after).

Back in the dream, I seem to be making repeat visits to this strange building, to go and have my check ups. It feels like it might be several years down the line and this is a return trip from Africa to come and have the scans done. On this occasion, I get bundled from office to office in a process that feels too fast to be under my control. I see the Professor, the Breast Care Nurse, and my Oncologist. I am then told that things are 'clear' (the news ex cancer patients long to hear) and sent on my way again.

It is only when I am walking back up the long hill with S, the building some way behind us, that I realise that I never got scanned at all so I wonder whether or not their diagnosis of 'clear' was based on anything real at all.


So, there I was, feeling stressed about all sorts of flat renting / decorating / moving house things, when all along this sort of cheesy narrative forms the undercurrent of my subconscious.

I am a psychological cliche and it's getting tiresome. I can't wait for the next two weeks to pass. By then I should be out of the flat, it should have been rented, I shall be into the last two weeks of work, and I will hopefully have received the news I want to hear on my scans. And with all of that, my neuroses should hopefully take a back seat and I get busy with the prospect of moving to Africa.

And getting a proper night's sleep would be nice too.

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