––till my next appointment with my oncologist.
The nervousness always starts in the last two weeks before The Day. I double-check my calendar to make sure I’ve set a date to go for the blood-test, and that it’s far enough in advance so the results will be available on the day of my appointment. Then I triple-check that I’ve set a calendar alarm for both the blood-test and the oncologist appointment because if I don’t, there’s a good chance I’ll get the dates mixed up. That’s the morning sorted.
In the afternoon, I do the whole thing again, just to make sure.
And then the next day: check, rinse, repeat.
It sounds kinda OCD and I suppose it is, whether I want to admit it or not. I don’t; I don’t think of myself that way but really, we all are, some more so than others. Old Eternal (aka my late mother) lived by routine. As a single mother working full-time and raising a kid, routine and organisation were her greatest weapons against chaos and danger.
My mother always coloured within the lines because that was how she could fulfil her obligations and responsibilities. But she had one funny thing: whenever we left the house, she would make sure the door was locked by trying knob thirty times to make sure the lock had caught and the door wouldn’t suddenly spring open after we were gone. I could hear her counting under breath. I tried assuming locking-up duties myself but it didn’t help. It didn’t matter who locked the door, she had to try it thirty times before we left. And I had to stand there and watch, to make sure she didn’t walk off and absentmindedly leave her keys in the lock. The woman who lived upstairs from us had done this, not on her way out but when she had come home from shopping. The keys stayed there all day until finally the guy across the hall came home from work, saw them, and knocked on the door to give them to her. She told my mother about it thinking it was kind of funny in retrospect, not realising this was one of my mother’s worst nightmares.
Well, at least I don’t have a set number of times I have to check the calendar.
But even if I did, what the hell. So I’m quirkalicious. Who isn’t? Could be worse. Has been worse.