Today I breathe. Waiting for scan results.

I am completely in awe of the human spirit.  I’m reminded continually of just how hard we fight.  All of us.  Some days we are battling our biggest foe and others we are just fighting the mundane of “normal” life.  And sometimes, we just give up completely because it’s too hard.  

I’ve had plenty of days when I just want to give up.  I want to say ENOUGH.  I can’t do this another day, but for some reason I don’t.  I might crawl under the covers until it passes.  I might cry until I have nothing left to cry out, but for some reason, I haven’t fully given up.

There are also the days when I’m able to see the good.  I feel like the day is fresh and it’s truly a chance to start over.  I’m hopeful and optimistic.  I know I can do anything.  I haven’t figured out the magic formula to feelings and emotions and how I can be hopeful one day and another day, I want to just go to sleep and never wake up.

I’m waiting for scan results right now - today.  My mind races back and forth between hopeful and hopeless.  The thought of having to go through another surgery or treatment about breaks me.  But then I try to pull myself up and revel in the uncertainty.  Some part of my brain utters…  “Until they tell you it’s back, it’s not cancer”.  Part of me believes it.  The other part of me is trying to brace myself and prepare for the worst.  These thoughts fly back and forth between hopeful and dread like a ping pong ball in China.  I attempt to lean into every ounce of mindfulness training and bring myself back to the present moment.  Sometimes it lasts for several minutes.  Sometimes it lasts for a few seconds.  

I have no choice though.  This is where I am in this moment.  Waiting.  Ok - I do have a choice.  I can choose to make myself crazy or to keep putting one foot in front of the other.  I can choose to shower and put on nice clothes.  I can choose to eat something.  I can choose to go to work and try to put these crazy incessant thoughts on the back burner.  I could also choose to just hide and wallow, but I don’t want to make that choice today.

Today I’m choosing to show up in my life even though my heart weighs a hundred pounds in my chest and tears are welling up in the edges of my eyes.  I just keep trying to shake it off.  Literally shaking, dancing and pretending it’s not my reality.  I’ll probably cry in the shower and maybe that will help move some of it out of me.  And there’s that piece of me that reminds me that it could all be okay.  Somehow, that’s really hard to believe and it’s easier to brace myself for the worst.  

I’m very angry at cancer.  I have beat it twice and yet I still feel like a little girl up against a bully.  It always feels like it has the upper hand and it’s secretly plotting to take me down.  I try to live my life in spite of looking over my shoulder every day and I hate that it owns a piece of me.  I want to be thankful for it - that it opened my eyes and heart to appreciate life.  If I thought I was out of the weeds, maybe I would be there.  I’m sure being in waiting mode after this scan makes it worse.  I do feel that way in between appointments.  I forget more often than I think about it.  I have to remind myself of that.  It does get better.  And looking over my shoulder just robs me of the moment.  I hate that!  Give me my damn moments back!  

Today, I breathe.  I cry and I show up.  And, I pray for some good news.    

What does "healthy living" after cancer look like?

What does "healthy living" after cancer look like?

My goal here is to share what’s worked, what hasn’t worked, what I’ve learned, bring other people into the conversation to share their experience and wisdom and to just have more of a conversation going about life after cancer. What I’ve learned these past couple of years is that it’s kind of unchartered territory. There’s a lot of room for growth and learning here. I hope to help other cancer survivors on their path. We are definitely stronger together and this community can help lift each other up instead of feeling isolated, frustrated and alone after surviving cancer.