In 1935, physicist Erwin Schrodinger proposed a paradox in which a cat, enclosed in a box with a couple extra items, could be considered both alive and dead at the same time.
I currently find myself in a dilemma somewhat similar: In December, I was diagnosed with a rare bone-marrow cancer. Okeh, fair enough. I had to carry this knowledge around with me for three weeks until I could get in to see a blood-cancer specialist. After reviewing my medical records and discussing my various symptoms, the specialist decided to send me for more tests because he’s not sure I have cancer: something’s wrong, but it might not be cancer. Oddly enough, I was happier thinking I had cancer than I am right now. Cancer is bad; but not knowing is worse.
Of course, only one of these conclusions can be correct: either I have cancer or I don’t; but with every passing day, my condition could be getting worse or, I suppose, not. Are cancer cells creating dangerous amounts of protein in my bone marrow or are they not? If so, the delay for additional testing puts treatment further into the future; if not, then what is behind all the weird symptoms I’ve had since my open-heart surgery in January of last year?
It’s such an odd position to be in. I wish I could just open the box and find out.