I feel sometimes like I’ve got one foot in cancer and one foot out. Like I’m doing the hokey pokey and my body can’t decide which it wants to be. And just for good measure, about once every six months I need a little shaking up just to remind myself I am never fully ever going to be free of cancer. Not that my body will never be free, but my mind and my fears will never be free.
I live in reality of being a cancer survivor daily.
Not that I don’t go hours or days without cancer on my mind, but most days I will have a cancer thought brush my reality. Just a little nudge to remind me the shadow is still there.
So my brush with reality last week came in the form of a pain in my right side in my lower rib area. I let three days of this pain go by before I called to see the doc. I probably should have waited longer, but, there again, I let my mind wander to all the “what ifs.”
My doctor ordered a CT Scan.
After being entirely open about my cancer journey I’ve felt a bit timid about saying anything publicly here because, quite frankly, I’m even tired of myself and my little cancer scares. I, quite frankly would like to lose weight (which I have been) and ENJOY it, rather than freak, because….what if I’m losing weight for another reason….gasp!
It reminds me that I am clinging to something that is so temporary rather living in the fullness of God and His faithfullness.
Because I’m not really scared of dying. I’m actually more scared of leaving behind the ones that I love.
I spend a lot of time, too much time, thinking about what would happen to my children if my cancer came back. Because chances are really good if it came back as metastasized cancer that it would eventually consume me.
And I always joke that if Jeremy is left to take care of the kids their teeth will rot out of their head because he will never remember to tell them to brush their teeth. But the truth is that I just took Elijah to the dentist and he has a mouth full of cavities not unlike my older two, so it’s not like I’m the queen of the pearly whites.
But I want to be the one to brush their teeth, and help pick out their prom dress, and snuggle with them, and remind them how much I love them and how completely special and unique they are despite their imperfections.
I wouldn’t mind retiring in Florida with Jeremy either.
And just to end on a positive note, because I’m afraid this is sounding far to sad. My mom, my sister and my MIL are all in “the know” about my pain in the side and my CT scan, so I think they get in cahoots together to call me and text me every hour until I have the results, and you know those techs aren’t allowed to give you any kind of clue whatsoever, and I try people, I really try. I say things like “just as long as the cancer isn’t back,” just to see if they look sad as I leave. But this kind woman didn’t give me anything to go on. At least when I was diagnosed they sent me straight for a biopsy and I knew something was up.
But nothing. Just a smile.
So my MIL tells me today thatshe has announced to her class (she substitutes) that she is keeping her phone on because her daughter-in-law who has had breast cancer had some tests and she needs to know how the test results came out and that when they hear the phone ring she will need to look and see if it’s me (never mind that I won’t know for at least a few days). So how cute is this…..every time the phone rings those rowdy high school kids all get together and start saying “shh” and “quiet, Mrs. Brown’s phone is ringing” and she says the class gets completely quiet and they get really serious. Which I find strangely sweet from a bunch of high schoolers I don’t know.
And it’s never me on the phone because I don’t know the results yet, and may have to wait a WHOLE second weekend of “what if” before I get the answer.
But I figure, between last spring when I had the bone scan and the lung x-ray, and the time before that when I had the MRI to confirm the lumps in my armpit were in fact just hardened fat from reconstruction and now a CT Scan of my abdomen, I will be assured my cancer is gone…..
Wait, there’s still the brain.
“But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.” (James 1:6)
So I’m tired of being tossed around by cancer. I’m tired of being shaken up like the hokey pokey. I’m tired of feeling like I’m shaking the ones I love. I don’t believe the hokey pokey is where it’s at. Do you? I mean, unless your doing it with your kids and fully living, and I guess then it would be absolutely 100% acceptable. Maybe even encouraged.
Here’s believing I’m living fully in the presence of God today, and even tomorrow, cancer or no cancer