Posted by wendy on 2011/12/20
We anthropomorphize cancer around these parts alot–actually, I guess nearly everyone does, don’t they? We write it angry letters and we say “kick its ass!”. I think we have to humanize it a little, because when you stop and think about the fact that it’s just…cells gone wrong (Cell Gone Bad!) , division gone wild and malignant (When Math Attacks!)–it’s too depressing. Cancer is our own bodies turning against us, and who can blame anyone for turning it into some sort of entity that’s crept into our lives with evil intent? It’s easier to visualize a fight if the thing you’re fighting is actually…you know…fighting YOU. Otherwise, you’re just throwing punches at thin air. Putting googly eyes on your IV bags just seems silly at that point.
I’ve been punching thin air for the last week. I saw my oncologist for my 3 month check up and while I was driving home from the appointment, her office called because my liver enzymes were elevated and she wanted to schedule an ultrasound. She said it could be the tamoxifen, but of course, we had to be certain. I had the ultrasound yesterday morning and I got the results this afternoon (Normal! Normal!). I’ve been walking around on this thin edge of terror for the past week. Trying to verbalize it was nearly impossible for me. It wasn’t fair. IT WASN’T FAIR. I just finished my fight, you know? The idea that I may have to step back into the ring was so overwhelmingly depressing that I felt like I could barely function. It didn’t hit me til the call this afternoon how deeply upset I was. I hadn’t cried or really had any sort of breakdown until the nurse called today and told me my liver was perfectly normal and they’d see me in March. I went into the bathroom at work and immediately had a nice little ‘come-apart’, as we say here in the Deep South. I texted M immediately, as he’s been sitting with me on those pins and needles (and how wonderful and lucky I feel to know that I have him to lean on when I need it) for the last week. He called me back right away and we had a nice little giddy moment together. Relief. Relief and love. We have plans, he and I. We both have to be alive in order to carry them out, though.
Normal. I’ve always said it was subjective. My new normal more or less means that every little abnormality is going to raise a red flag and every single google search for that red flag + breast cancer will lead me down roads that I want to avoid at all costs.
It’s not fair. It’s not–but, I need to remember to accept what happens to me. Fair or not, I cannot always control what happens to me–but I can control my reactions. I’m trying for that grace…that acceptance I found early on with my first diagnosis. I guess I am expecting too much out of myself. I feel like I failed my first false alarm. But, I also passed–cause HURRAH for normal test results!
Cancer may eventually be the thing that gets me in the end, but I’m going to make every effort to make sure that cancer does not HAVE me while I am in this world. It’s harder some weeks than others, that is for certain.
This next week will be fully of Christmas things, and then the week after will be a Very Special Week that I will talk about later. I’m lucky. I am so lucky.
Happy Hanukkah, Happy Festivus, Merry Kwanzaa, Merry Christmas–Happy Holidays no matter what you’re celebrating this time of year. I hope 2012 brings good things to all of us.