Tuesday, 9 December 2014

...in which I discover I am apparently a cat and am owned by a certain Mr Schrödinger...

In a hypothetical experiment, (that)  Schrödinger, a physicist devised in 1935, a cat is placed in a sealed box along with a radioactive sample, a Geiger counter and a bottle of poison. If the Geiger counter detects that the radioactive material has decayed, it will trigger the smashing of the bottle of poison and the cat will be killed. 
The experiment was designed to illustrate the flaws of the ‘Copenhagen interpretation’ of quantum mechanics, which states that a particle exists in all states at once until observed. If the Copenhagen interpretation suggests the radioactive material can have simultaneously decayed and not decayed in the sealed environment, then it follows the cat too is both alive and dead until the box is opened.
Common sense tells us this is not the case, and Schrödinger used this to highlight the limits of the Copenhagen interpretation when applied to practical situations. The cat is actually either dead or alive, whether or not it has been observed. 
“[It] prevents us from so naively accepting as valid a "blurred model" for representing reality,” Schrödinger wrote. “In itself, this would not embody anything unclear or contradictory.” Schrödinger’s Cat has been used to illustrate the differences between emerging theories in quantum mechanics, by testing how they would approach the experiment. 

So I finished the sixth and final cycle of chemotherapy last Tuesday;and subsequently had the PICC line removed from my left bicep that same afternoon at St Vulvas Oncology Day Unit...which has been a real pleasure to use rather than being admitted to the wards as I was for the initial treatment.

( In fact I had to request to change oncologists as I lost faith in my initial doctor, not least because the locum I had seen at clinic told me about the possibility of having the treatment as an out-patient, which the  initial oncologist just could-not or would-not , facilitate.)
( There aren't that many advantages to being South African in the diaspora  except the willingness to be rude and demand better  / adequate treatment when you feel disadvantaged.)

Aluta continua Comrades! )

I have never really understood why anyone would seek admission to hospital when they could and should be treated at home...apart from the insane and homeless...but must admit to seeing at least one patient a day since I have been working in  the NHS who has requested admission to hospital for what is frequently a trivial complaint.
And who then gets offended when I laugh in their face...as I am prone to do.

Not that it was a picnic but that was mainly due to the profound tiredness and nausea and then abdominal pain and cramps...indeed in the five days of active chemo, - ( the pump was strapped to my forearm), -  I only ate a small bowl of Fruit Loops and three bananas...
...I live alone, with my lovely son living and working some 70 miles away and so ,pragmatically,  on a daily basis  I have relied principally on my landlady and my char-lady  to look after me and provide me with my daily provisions although I have had some good local friends who have also been invaluable.

I basically just stayed in bed and looked at the wall, lacking the will to read a book or even watch TV...and the five days post-chemo were exactly the same.

( Note to self : paint the walls...and exactly when were the curtains last changed?)

But gradually I got better and was surprised when I went shopping today to see that it's apparently Christmas.

The plan now is to have a PET scan on 5th January and to see my oncologist on the 22nd January.

Basically its a 1/0 result - either the chemo will have shrunk the mets and lymph nodes and put me in a limited “remission” ; or it won’t  have worked and/or the cancer will have “bounced back” after the chemo has finished.

I am repairing/decaying.
I have a future/I do not have a future.
The heartache and nausea of the past five months has been worthwhile/a waste of time.

I am in a state of limbo, a state which has terrified me and mystified me in equal parts, since it was presented to me , aged four, in Catholic school.

But lets be positive !

BTW...has anyone reported this Schrödinger chap to the SPCA?

1 comment:

  1. Remain positive because I like reading your Blog. Also, it would be good for you to remain well ;)

    So, eat well- less animals, more plants, meditate and fast intermittently.
    Failing that, I will cross my fingers and toes for you, and hope that you have an excellent Christmas.