May 31, 2011

 

Beware–A Cancer Story

Sorry for the two-fer today. The other one was scheduled, this one I have to get out, or the rest of my day will be spent in bed–hiding under the covers.

I have made many conscious decisions. Decisions to become mentally healthy. I’m practicing mindful thinking, and trying to show compassion and kindness.

But my stinkin’ subconscious mind is a freakin’, annoying monkey. It’s the critter that eats away at my confidence. All my accomplishments are picked upon by my subconscious, until I cry.

If I’m so mindful, then why do tears fall so easily? Shouldn’t I know the root cause of the tears.

I do.

I ask myself a series of questions if I have a negative emotional reaction to something. It helps me deal with what is fact, and what I have distorted in my mind. While trying to answer the questions, eventually I find the source.

I have two weeks until my next CT scan. Three weeks to receive the results. Underneath all my actions lurks fear. My abilities to keep my mind busy, plan for the future, desire to knit, or take photographs is marred by fear.

Tomorrow, May 31, should have been my third year of being able to say, “yay! no evidence of disease!”. Due to some screw ups while changing oncologists, I had a change in my regular scheduled 6 month scans. Which I didn’t mind, because I didn’t like all the pressure around Christmas, worrying about my scan results.

Through hard work with my therapist, I learned how to tame the fear over my health. I actually did pretty well with the last scan. I was so confident, I didn’t take my babysitter with me.

Then they found something worthy of short-term followup. Which meant another scan, and the wait for the results.

Fear.

For the last three months, the thoughts that have run through my head have gone like this:

I’ll keep growing my hair so that if I have to have chemotherapy, they can use my hair to make a wig when I lose mine.

Will I always be a baby about my health, or will I learn to take care of myself? Will I ever be able to distinguish between what I have control of, and what I don’t?

Will I still be courageous? Happy? Have my sense of humor?

What is all that radiation I have to endure, doing to my body? Is it making my chances of recurrence worse?

What if there was one microscopic-rogue-mutant-gene that they missed during surgery three years ago?

I have these fears, but I intend to live well into my 90’s. I want to be one of those ladies on television celebrating their 110th birthday–but let me assure you, I will have some sort of teeth in my mouth!

I intend to see great-grandchildren, after watching my three children get married and have children of their own. After all, I have a whole bunch of stories to tell them. 😀

I expect to have four more rounds of cats. Only, I will keep it to two cats at a time, for the sake of my marriage.

I will knit thousands and thousands of miles of yarn, maybe even learn to spin my own.

One day I will photograph something and feel it is worthy to actually hang on the wall with pride.

I just have to keep talking to myself to make sure I don’t worry over something that is not a fact. I was successful with that way of thinking as long as I had clean scans. It’s a different monkey when there is something to be concerned about.

However, I have to let the fear escape. I’m only human, and the more I contain the fear, the more it festers.

And, seriously, I’m scared.

 

 

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About April

I'll come back to this when I find out who I really am. I've been through some extremely rough patches but they have made me a better person. I blog if my brain is functioning first thing in the morning.
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27 Responses to May 31, 2011

  1. Cathy Bohlae says:

    Of course you are scared, I am scared for you. First is it a monkey or a rat….see above! April you will not lose your sense of humor cuz you have a lot of it! I wish there was something I could do for you and your voices, so to speak……And I don’t think anyone can help this but your mind doctor…they seem to help us rethink things. I hope you do find something beautiful always……
    I often want to write but fear being a stalker and I usually can’t think of the words that would help but rest assured I read ALL your posts and most of the time they make me think about things other than work and myself! once again….hugs my dear and I would so go with you for this if I was close!
    I would not do your grocery shopping but we could go together and make an ugly chore funner…..yes I said it!!

    • April says:

      I would never think you are a stalker. 🙂 And it is a monkey who eats like a rat. Ha! I may have to fix that.

  2. mewhoami says:

    It’s good that you got this off your chest. You will certainly be in my prayers and thoughts. Hugs to you.

  3. aviets says:

    I’m so sorry you’ve had to endure this long, frightening waiting time and that it’s not over yet. I remember when my brain tumor was diagnosed I felt like I was living on the edge of terror every single second. I know you’re not at the point of any kind of diagnosis and that there’s every chance all could be well for you. But I understand the fear. Sending hugs. -Amy

    • April says:

      Thanks Amy. I know the fear or anxiousness over waiting on the test is normal, but there are times those feelings are stronger than I.

  4. aviets says:

    Another note – I meant to comment on a post you wrote not long ago but I wasn’t able to at the time, and now I can’t even find the post I’m thinking of…You wrote about everything/everyone being connected in some way you couldn’t really describe and that probably people wouldn’t understand what you meant…but I totally feel the same way and have all my life. In fact, I took a (slightly obnoxious but actually quite accurate) “strengths survey” last year from a currently popular book. It surprised me by being really right-on with the way I look at life, including the fact that I believe in the importance of the connections between all people, things, and ideas, beyond the bounds of time and space. Anyway, wanted to let you know that I get it. 🙂 -Amy

  5. meANXIETYme says:

    I just want you to know that I hear you and I understand. And being scared doesn’t backtrack over all the work you’ve done, because it’s how you react to being scared that is the important part.
    And for what it’s worth, I think you’re doing great with managing your fear.

    • April says:

      Thanks! I was feeling a bit pitiful, thanks for the reminder that being scared doesn’t negate the accomplishments I’ve made so far.

  6. April, I admire your courage and determination and planning. Stick with it! But don’t beat yourself up when you are scared in the midst of all of your hard work and good cheer. It makes sense, don’t you think? That you are scared? Allow yourself that moment, or two, of fear. Then look in that mirror with a wink and say….no fear, you don’t get me the rest of the day. Just for those few minutes. Thinking of you.

    • April says:

      Thanks Colleen! That is pretty powerful, and just what my therapist would tell me. Allow time to grieve/feel sorry for myself/be fearful, but then move on. Thanks for reminding me what she taught me. 😀

  7. revgerry says:

    I don’t suppose we are supposed to NOT feel fear, and you are handling your reasonable fears pretty well i think. I can only send hugs. And I send also healing LoveLight if you will accept that as a blessing and surround yourself in it. hugs, gerry

  8. Gallivanta says:

    I am fairly sure I would feel much the same way in a similar situation. Hugs!

  9. bmagpub says:

    Sending you love and hugs. Do you find, that when you share a fear, it diminishes somewhat, but when you share love, it increases? Remember, that while there may be no-one there beside you, you are not alone. :-). I also think that your sense of humour will keep you company. And, I think you may already have that photo – other’s see only the beauty where we see only the flaw.

    • April says:

      Oh my, you have given me the most beautiful thing to think about. Although, some of my fear has been pushed a little further back into a place I can keep the fear, I know the effects of the reverse. Thank you so much for the reminder. 😀

  10. suzjones says:

    It’s okay to be scared. You wouldn’t be normal if you weren’t scared. Keep hanging in there babe.

    • April says:

      Thanks. Encouragement helps, but so does a busy mind. I’m going to simply keep thinking about other things. I have been back and forth to the ear doctor so much, I’m just going to pretend like it’s another one of those. lol

      • suzjones says:

        Speaking of ears. Got a funny story to tell.
        Last night when I went into the shower, I thought “Wow the crickets/cicadas are really loud tonight. I thought it would be too cold for them now.”
        Then I realised that there were no crickets/cicadas outside lol

        • April says:

          For me, there is nothing that ruins my mood, and makes me be a monster to my family more than a constant annoyance like pain, or a plugged ear with pain. Part of my problem is fear as well. The ENT wants to do a CT scan of my head. He may find I have no brain! 🙂 Seriously, I’m tired of having radiation put into my body. I wish I could take away the bugs in your ears!

          Funny, you mentioned that, last night as I let the dog in, I noticed how quiet it was. First of the the stinkin’ dogs behind us weren’t barking, but I didn’t hear a cricket, frog, or cicada. I thought it very strange because the noise should be starting to build.

          • suzjones says:

            I get used to the crickets. It’s just that the other night they were very loud.
            I hope they sort out what is bothering you April. The Tween has a blocked ear at the moment as well but we’re managing it with stuff to dissolve the wax.

            • April says:

              It seems to get better, then I don’t know. All I know, I’m sick of doctors. I wish they could find the answers to your crickets. I love to listen to them at night, but I don’t think I would like carrying them around in my mind all day. 🙂

              • suzjones says:

                I get used to them to the point where it is all just part of the background noise.
                I really hope the doctors work it out for you April.

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