Saturday, 30 September 2017

An Enemy Named Agnes

Today I was determined to move my body. Thirty minutes into my workout, my arch nemesis arrives. Agnes taps on my shoulder, snarling. I call her that only because it's a name that starts with an A and ends with an S (although Y would work here too). And it's not one of my favourite names, to be honest. Apologies to any Agnes's out there. I'm sure you're lovely.

My Agnes isn't. I don't really like her at all, but I've more or less accepted her presence in my life. I knew she'd turn up.

For the past week I've marvelled at my equilibrium. It felt so good not to have Agnes around. But she's a sneaky one. It's like she just has to remind you of her evil existence.

"Don't get too contented!" she will snap. I never try to reason with Agnes these days. I just wait her out. Eventually she lopes away, tail between her legs.

I was able to get on with my day. Later, I turned on the television (apparently I'm a masochist - daytime TV SUCKS), to be greeted with the news that actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus has been diagnosed with breast cancer. My heart sank.

Recently I received the all clear for the second year, which is a huge relief. But whenever these things happen - Olivia Newton John's recent recurrence after 25 years, for example - I am reminded of all the uncertainty I am left with.

No matter how many years go by with the all clear I can never truly be at ease and think I am untouchable and immune. Of course Agnes simply loves to crow about this.

I remind myself that my cancer was found 'early'. But then I wonder... Is the whole 'early detection' thing somewhat flawed? I say this because it was completely random that mine was found when it was. I went to the doctor for another reason (my smear), and luckily my GP is very thorough so she always does a breast exam as well. But what if my smear hadn't been due then, or I put it off the way so many women do? 

How long would it have taken for me to notice there were any changes, that I had a lump? By the time I did notice I'm sure it wouldn't have been 'early'. I am just not sure that 'early detection' is as easy and straight forward as we think. 

Having said that, I urge every one of you to have a good look and feel of your girls. At the moment it seems that early detection is all we've got until a cure is found. 

Meanwhile, I am doing my best to stay in the present moment and tell myself I am OK. I am a survivor. That I was lucky in an odd sort of way. 

No matter what Agnes thinks. 

Do you have a visitor like Agnes? 

Do you have your regular check-ups? Do it! 


  1. Agnes needs to fuck off. I pretty much live with my own Agnes and her cousin depression. I don't know what life would be like without them. Congrats on being cancer free for two years. I can't imagine what it would be like to be always wondering whether the next result will be clear or not. Hugs.

    1. She really does. It certainly doesn't help with old Agnes, but I'm doing OK considering. Thanks,Dorothy x

  2. Agnes really needs to shut it! We all have different versions of her, don't we? I've got Cassius!
    Hugs, Ness. ♥

  3. Oh yes, I have an Agnes too. Never before the diagnosis - but now that bitch makes a daily occurrence...or ten. We just have to keep plodding on. Perhaps we need to find an anti-Agnes to beat the crap out of her when she appears :) x

  4. One of my high school friends just finished radiation treatment for breast cancer (and had to fight Hurricane Irma as a side dish). The anxiety never leaves.

  5. Agnes comes knocking on our door every now and then, it wouldn't leave unless we learn to deal with it. Glad to hear about your early detection. It's always best to have regular check ups I guess. Take care.

  6. Agnes is a pain! While I don't call her Agnes, she visits me time and again and yes, dependent on triggers. I guess while you can relax a bit, there's always going to be that fear in the back of your mind