As I sit this morning I realize that the “anticipation” of my follow up with the oncologist tomorrow is starting to impact me with that slightly nauseous feeling I get when getting up in the middle of the night to prepare to travel somewhere. After a relatively poor night’s sleep I have reached for my heartburn medication as my body is signalling in several ways that there is something brewing in my subconscious that is not as positive, supportive and loving as I would like it to be. This is a big appointment coming up and one that will impact the next few months substantially…..chemo or no chemo, that is the question.
And although I am not at all excited at the prospect of chemo and all of the “joys” that come with it, I still struggle with the question of whether or not I will trust that the cancer is gone without chemo? Ovarian cancer screening has a LONG way to come, and the screening that they will do going forward is the same screening that didn’t show the cancer to begin with but left it as a the “surprise inside”…kinda like a box of Cracker Jacks, just not the surprise I was looking for.
I am grateful that I followed my intuition and made the choice to have the surgery to remove my ovaries and fallopian tubes when I did. I am grateful that they found the cancer when they did. I am grateful that further surgery and biopsies found nothing more concerning than “atypical cells”. I am grateful to my body and it’s resilient ability to heal itself after 3 surgeries.
….but I am human and with that comes the subconscious mind and often it is where the questions and doubts slyly impact me in a negative way. It is that dark side that creeps in like an oil slick on top of the water, blocking the light and crowding closer and closer until chased away with a drop of Sunlight.
And so, like the strong sailor on the box of Cracker Jacks with his trusty companion beside him, I assume my battle station. I acknowledge the fears and listen to the information that both my body and emotions are providing me. I address it and move forward in the knowledge that there is currently a fork in the road that will send me either back to work shortly or to chemotherapy and I work to surrender to my belief that everything happens for a reason.
And then I decide to give it power no more….a decision I am sure that I will need to make several times over the next 27 hours until I meet with my Oncologist.
And how to diminish the power?
Just as the sun forces it’s way through the clouds to break free and shine or the concentrate of dish soap pushes back a slick of oil on the water, I too have been working to push the clouds of doubt and negativity from my mind.
I have been enjoying time outdoors (thank you Mother Nature for beautiful days with bright blue skies and sunshine), a little more exercise (who doesn’t feel motivated to walk and take in that gorgeous fresh air…especially when a strong case of cabin fever sets in), pampered my body with a pedicure (as opposed to torturing it), some healthy tasty treats (like a tasty stirfry with a tonne of fresh veggies, garlic and ginger – no vampires coming to this house!), and an overdose of the best medicine ever – laughter.
Things that make me laugh…
1. Time with certain friends…
They know who they are. The ones that needed to be (or should have been) avoided immediately after surgery so I wouldn’t rip a stitch or staple and get in trouble from my doctor for using my abs too much as I try not to laugh. Some of them you just have to share eye contact with, a few there is a single word or phrase and all of that blackmail material you have on one another is reflected back and forth in an instant and a mayhem of laughter instantly breaks out. Sometimes those friends have been around for decades, sometimes they are relatively new, but always they are blessings to be grateful for.
2. Time at Play….
I can’t say I have ever been a seriously competitive girl…my hand-eye coordination has never been good for that. There was an evening of many games of Kings Corners with Mom, laughing because she wouldn’t let me go to bed until she won a game….me cheating to try to let her win, it not working.
3. Being a Mucky Pup…
Today I will be starting a painting class, but I not sure how much paint I will get on the canvas vs. me, and you don’t want to see my kitchen while I am baking….but I believe that just comes with the territory when activities must be completed while dancing (whatever form that may be at the moment).
4. Memories of Those Inside Jokes…..
This one can, but does not always circle back to number 1 on my list. Sometimes it is shared memories at work, often born put of moments of absolute frustration…..there is a reason why we have a choice between “laugh or cry?”. Often it can cause great laughter when on my own to be immediately followed by a phone call or text to the other half of the party to share in the fun….if I can stop laughing long enough to get out what it is I find so funny.
And so this morning, with my tools at the ready, I am again making a choice. I am choosing to focus on the sunshine and blue sky of hope, courage and determination as opposed to the grey of worry and fear of the unknown. I have my boyz, my journal to help guide me, and my connection to loved ones near and far.
What will your choice be today?