So, the good news is that Charlotte's recent scan showed everything to be stable. I didn't need a scan to tell me that about my best friend who has only ever been stable, from my somewhat more fluctuating perspective. But it is the very best thing she could have been told by the wonderful oncologists who have taken care of her since last January.
The thing is, nothing is certain. No guarantees are on offer. In many ways, the place Charlotte finds herself to be now hasn't shifted all that much. It seems symptomatic of life. Many of us live with all sorts of unknowns. We live alongside uncertainty. Not knowing is, it seems, part of life.
"Uncertainty is the only certainty there is,
And knowing how to live with insecurity is the only security."
John Allen Paulos
Charlotte is, for now, in the clear. The signs all look good but we cannot be sure. The very best science has to offer, and the finest machines, with the highest resolutions currently available cannot offer any guarantee.
Worse still they cannot even determine definitively whether or not some of the shadows that concerned them previously were in fact cancer's fingerprints. The only thing to do is wait and see. And waiting too, much as it pains me to acknowledge it, is part and parcel of life. I long to press fast forward, but would do so (were it a possibility) at my peril. If I move into then, I will miss not only the journey from now until then, but also part of what it is to be fully here, in the present, in the now.
When Charlotte told me, I was thrilled. So thrilled in fact that I wanted to stay with it a while longer before committing my reflections to a blog post. I breathed in, slowly and deeply. All, right here, right now, is well. Breathing out, I said to myself, all will be well. It will be what it will be. And we shall cope.
I think it's all about making a choice. Choosing to get outside of the dimly lit waiting room. The world is out there. Bright and colourful. Life is going to happen anyway, it's up to us, as to when we start to live it fully. Charlotte and her approach in the ongoing battle against the evil alien remind me of this when I most need reminding.
"Life is change,
Change is stability."