Article by Wendy McCance
If you have been reading this blog for any length of time, I’m sure you must wonder why my topics have been all over the place this last year. All I can say is that what was once an almost daily stream of focused posts has become a blog held hostage by my emotions. Quite frankly, I’m okay with that. I began my blog in that fashion and I’m fine reverting back to writing in that manner.
To be quite honest, this last year has been challenging when it comes to writing posts on this blog. I seem to be managing quite well handling all the day to day aspects of my life like work and family, but when it comes to these personal posts, sometimes I can dig in and pull out my deepest thoughts, exposing myself in its most vulnerable form, but most of the time I just feel numb.
It’s been hard to wrap my head around my future. I’ve been terrified to look beyond a month at a time. When my oncologist gave me 3 months between checkups, it was like being told to take a vacation. I had 3 months in which to forget about what might lie ahead for me. I had a really good reprieve from all of the testing and stress of what the results might show.
This last week through me a curve ball. I began having pain in my lower back and ribs that would become so severe that I had to resort to a few heavy duty pain pills I had lying around. I was grateful to have them, but scared as to why I might need them.
The day after I began having the horrible pain, I got a call from the oncologist’s office reminding me that it had been 3 months and I was due to come in again. The timing was unnerving considering how I was feeling. All of the bad feelings I had suppressed resurfaced again. Here I was back to feeling scared about what might be the beginning of a journey I didn’t want to take.
Well, I have an oncologist who is terrific and appointments are quick to get. The secretary asked if I was available to come in and gave me a date 3 days from the date of the call. I remember saying, “Oh, I can get in that quickly?” I wasn’t thrilled. I don’t know why but I was hoping for more time before going in.
Well, I had my appointment and the initial blood tests were great. Many of the markers for advancement of the disease have stayed stable. There was a rise in my protein level and a few other things, but overall it was a good result.
At the same time, I was having pain. I was due for a full body scan to see if there were any fractures in my bones. I have to have those x-rays 2 times per year. The doctor took a look at where I was experiencing pain and when he touched a spot on my back, I nearly went through the roof. I ended up being given an appointment for an MRI as well to see if I had any lesions forming outside the bones around my lower back.
My follow-up appointment is Friday. I will find out if I can breathe for another 3 months or if I might need treatment for something found. I have had pain in my lower back off and on since a few months before I was diagnosed, but the pain had increased over time. In the past, nothing was found when I had x-ray’s the MRI or PET Scan so, I’m trying to be optimistic. At the same time, it’s on my mind and is cause for these cancer ramblings I’m posting. I’m just trying to cleanse my head of all the worry that keeps accumulating.
The future of this blog, I’m guessing will continue to be an up and down journey. I have given up on maintaining a professional site full of information on writing, social media and how to be a freelancer. It’s freeing to go back to the beginning when my blog was just breadcrumbs tossed down from the journey I was on. It’s what I want to share most and keep a record of. A place to mark my own place in life and to share the ups and downs with those who are interested in reading what is on my mind.
Like the quote above says, “Vulnerability is Our Most Accurate Measure of Courage” and I want to become courageous.
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