I'm considering something radical, or at least that's what the brain tumour community might lead you to believe.
I am overdue an annual scan to monitor the area where my tumour was, but the issue is that I actually feel really good! So what does this mean? Well, I was thinking about the risks and benefits of actually being monitored less frequently. You may assume that there wouldn't be any risks of me having an MRI, especially as I don't have contrast and that the procedure does not emit ionising radiation, however the risks I am referring to are not immediately in the forefront of people's awareness.
These risks involve the impact on others who desperately need scans and also the fact that, while any risk with MRI is very small, it does have SOME effect on the body being under such strong magnetic fields. I don't think we really know how this really is affecting the body apart from the seldom occurrences where people have burns etc. or leave metals on them. It is likely that it isn't really an issue at all and I'm just nit picking, but the risk to other people needing to have monitoring in more serious cases is something I think about a lot, especially with the massive pressure on NHS services.
When you have the opportunity to have an MRI scan now it's like receiving a golden ticket. This reflects a sorry state of affairs for this country, where we lie close to the bottom of cancer care and mortality tables in comparison to the rest of Europe even though we spend the most. There are just too many people for this small island and the vast sums of money the NHS receives is spent and managed very poorly. That's my 2 pence on the issue, others will have different opinions I'm sure. I think we can all agree however, that it makes sense for me to be selfless in the priveleged position I find myself in where I believe the risk to me not having a scan this year is likely to be low.
In other news, I'm really excited about making progress with the brain tumour study and with my writing projects. I'm currently receiving support to publish my work and I'm sure there will be many interesting conversations around that. I have a lot to learn about professional writing, even though I already have some valuable experience in this area.