It’s been difficult to wrap my mind around writing this blog post. It seems easier to take my most recent scans and follow-up appointment with my oncologist and put it away in a vault somewhere, not to be thought of again until the next time. That may seem like a strange thing to say given that thank g-d I got good news at the last appointment, but the truth is, the experience opened up something in me like Pandora’s Box, and it’s been difficult to close. When I really let myself feel the fear, as the doctor was leaving the room, I began to weep and my mind and my body finally admitted that holding onto the terror of this first follow-up appointment was exhausting, and more than just a little frightening.
What I am so immensely grateful and relieved to tell you is that my most recent scans last week show that I am stable right now. This means that thank g-d, nothing has grown or spread since the last MRI. My doctor is happy about this (as happy as an oncologist can be). The treatment that I received, even though I couldn’t finish the course of medication because I got treatment-induced colitis from it, could be in my system hopefully for months or even years, so it’s just one step at a time for now. We all need to continue to pray, meditate, energize, etc. that the KACP works! This was a baseline scan to see what’s going on, and I’ll be scanned again in another couple of months because they need to keep a close eye on the tumors. As time goes on, we will have a better idea of just how much cancer butt I am kicking w/ the medicine that I have received, combined with the holistic steps that I am taking as well.
For the time being, though, my focus continues to be on creating joy every day, taking care of myself physically and mentally, saying no when I need to, saying yes to things that I think will inspire me, meditating, laughing, and focusing on positive visualizations (of which I have many).
It may seem strange that I didn’t walk out of that doctor’s office that morning last week whistling; instead, I felt a fresh batch of fear. I can only say that it is too hard to put into words what it is like to think that you may have to live month to month, scan to scan, while seemingly the rest of the world (at least, most people that I know) continue to move forward in their lives, raising their families, planning their futures. So I do what I can to do the same, to plan, to move forward, to live life not on the edge of a cliff, but on a great long stretch of beach instead. I don’t want to live month to month, scan to scan. I am doing everything that I can to process the fear, let myself feel it, and then try my hardest to stay in-the-moment. We are only given today. I have realized lately through the good grace of my therapist (yes, when you struggle with fertility, then have a miscarriage, then are diagnosed with cancer for a second time before the age of 37 you run, not walk, to find yourself a good therapist!) that actually going over every single scenario in my head of what could possibly happen is not going to help me. In fact, it is only going to create even more anxiety. In reality, no matter what happens, I already have the strength (and the tools) inside of me to deal with it, good or bad. That knowledge in itself has been incredibly helpful and has strengthened my confidence in myself, and my ability to stay more in-the-moment.
I am also working on brainstorming how to possibly turn this blog into something else, a book perhaps? For such a long time I thought that I needed to have it perfect before I could ever hope to publish my writing, or offer something to somebody else that could possibly inspire or motivate. Through the help of my life coach and Kris Carr’s new Spotlight Crash Course, I am beginning to see that it may be OK for me not to have all the answers, not to know how to do it perfectly, and still just start. Today I wrote what I thought could be the back cover of my book jacket. It probably stinks (ahh, there are those inner “gremlins,” telling me that I can’t do something!) as it’s the first time that I’ve ever tried to do anything like that, and I’m still not even completely sure what this could even begin to look like. But heck, I tried.
I’m still working on what my core mission could be, but my initial thoughts are helping others to live a more authentic and happier life, with or without cancer, or any kind of disease. Since I’ve been diagnosed I’ve had a lot of crappy days, but I’ve also let go of a lot as well. I don’t dread Mondays anymore. I don’t carry around as much anger or resentment at others in my life who I feel haven’t lived up to my expectations (I’m working very hard on accepting people for who they are, and being grateful for what they do bring into my life and not what they don’t give me), I say no more when I need to understanding that my time is just a precious as anybody’s, and when you focus on creating joy every day, the universe gives you more joy (even in something seemingly “small,” like having your husband come home early for dinner). So it’s not that I have all the answers, and it’s not that I don’t have bad days and road rage and nag my hubby to do chores and sometimes, want to stay in bed with the covers over my head (case in point: Since work is kicking my ass lately, if I had any sick time saved up, I would have taken a mental health day today). But I do have a unique perspective on what life is like with cancer, and that in turn perhaps gives me a unique perspective on what life should be like for anybody: It’s our birthright to be happy, cancer or no cancer, disease or no disease. And maybe I’m just the girl to pass along that message to others.