21 February 2013

Good, Very

Today I woke up at 3 o’clock in the morning, wishing I could change the answers on my questionnaire.

Yesterday was Water Spa day, with a lovely group of girls. The idea is to do a ‘circuit’ of five pools that will benefit your body in all sorts of ways. The least appealing pool is the frigid Plunge Pool in which we submerge for about a minute. Challenging at first - though it’s amazing how the body can acclimatize. By the third time in the plunge pool, my sister was leisurely fluttering her legs, carrying on long conversations with the other polar bears.

I don't know these people.
But I digress. Before we even entered the facility, we had to fill out a form stating any health issues. I haven’t done one of those in a while, so I answered truthfully. Under ‘Most Recent Illness’ I wrote ‘Breast Cancer’, and under ‘Medications’, I wrote ‘Tomoxifen’, and under my ‘Overall Health’ I wrote ‘Good’.

I pondered briefly why I’d bother to write anything at all. After all, I’ve been lying on questionnaires most of my life. I even lied to the elliptical trainer about my weight and age. But it had to be done – and the youngster behind the counter scanned the piece of paper, eventually filing it away.

In the wee hours of the morning I woke up thinking about that questionnaire with ‘Janet’ on it, and the word ‘Cancer’ underneath.  I don’t like having those two words together unless it’s at a medical facility. Certainly not at a spa. Wandering to the kitchen for a snack (peach yogurt), I tried to figure out why it bothered me. Cancer is a big part of my life, but it’s almost behind me.  My surgery is because of the disease, but it’s a surgery I’m choosing.

I am healthy, and I have hair.

So I am glad of the last minute change I made on the questionnaire. Before the girl behind the counter filed me away, I’d reconsidered the line for ‘Overall Health.’ Then in the small space before the word ‘good’,  I’d squeezed in the word ‘very’ before I’d quickly signed my name.