I find scans strangely relaxing; I have even been lulled to sleep by the clunking and grinding of the magnets in the MRI machine. But the before and after is anything but relaxing. There is an interesting piece of research to be done measuring stress levels and exacerbations of symptoms in the days leading up to investigative scans and during the wait for results. If I were one of the research participants, the spike on my stress readout would have been particularly impressive at my last bone scan when the radiographer took it upon herself to announce, in passing, that the hotspots she saw on my residual limb “could be metastatic changes or nothing to worry about at all.” (This was despite my very definitely not asking for any information or even making eye contact with her.) The stress readout would have looked very busy during the ten days it took for my consultant to get back to me to clarify the situation and even busier between his musing that there may be other suspicious areas in my back and clavicle and his changing his mind. I feel hugely relieved that my care has reverted to the hospital where I’d been treated before the amputation. What I really want is unconditional reassurance that I will live to a very healthy one-legged old age but, for now, I’ll make do with a thoughtful oncologist who patiently explains the pros and cons of surveillance, who rings with results when he says he is going to and, even in the absence of a categorical “all clear” somehow manages to make me feel reasonably optimistic.