For those of you who are reading this fresh and don’t know the back story, I have a return of cancer. Here are some of my thoughts about it.
First of all, I want to thank everyone who has been so supportive of me and my family on my cancer journey. I appreciate all the thoughts, prayers, well wishes, gift cards, cards, notes, messages, and all of the things that have come my way. It is so nice to have people there cheering me on.
I’ve gotten the whole, “How are you dooooooooiiiinnnngggg?” question. It’s the question I hate. Normally we all say that to people we meet that we haven’t seen for a bit but that question is completely different since I’ve had cancer…the “doooooooiiiinnnnnggggg” part of the question gets really drawn out.
If I just casually say, “Oh, I’m good”. Then the person often says something like, “No. I mean with ‘the cancer’.”
The truth of it all is…I AM doing good. I’m doing good with life and I’m doing good with “the cancer”.
I’m not mad. I’m not angry. I’m not upset. This is a path I already knew I would likely be going down. Since my original diagnosis, I’ve made decisions with the thought that my life was likely going to play out something like this. In general, I’ve always been a person who planned for the worst and then was pleasantly surprised when the worst didn’t happen.
The good news, this is all way better than the worst that I’ve imagined. Of course, it’s not the best I’ve imagined but it’s not the worst.
I was talking to my doctor last week and she said, “This is a setback but you know, you’ve had a really good run so far.” That is the truth. I was diagnosed early in 2016. I’ve lived my life normally for the last 7 1/2 years. That is such a blessing. In that time I’ve met and been a part of the lives of all 10 of my grandchildren. I’ve had a bump in the road here and there but my cancer hasn’t really limited me in any way. That is a good “run”.
Happily, I still have more time to run the race. I’m not on the last lap either. But I am definitely aware that I’m on the track and there is a race.
I think we’ve all had the thoughts…how will I live my life in old age? How will I die? Will I die young? Will I die old? Will I die first before my significant other?
There are so many different variables in how we’ll live our lives as we age. There are so many variables on how or when we will die.
As I saw my Dad age, as his daughter, I was so frustrated with him about his stubbornness in not putting a washing and dryer on the main floor of the farmhouse. I was frustrated with him that he wouldn’t modify the bathroom to put a walk-in shower in. Instead, he went to the basement for laundry and for showering. I was frustrated that he wouldn’t even begin to talk about leaving the farm. We were having these conversations when he was 88.
He was at the point where he needed these things. I so remember being a frustrated daughter who lived over two hours away and I couldn’t get my dad to take care of himself in these simple ways. I was okay with him living at the farm if that was his wish but the modifications for bathing and laundry he could have easily done. He had enough money and it would have put my mind at ease. It would have put the whole family’s minds at ease…but nope. He wouldn’t do it.
So many of the conversations I had with him over his last few years involved me asking him to take care of himself. Don’t get me wrong. My dad was a wonderful guy. In reality, this was likely one of his only faults.
Through all of that, I decided one thing. I want to live my life with grace. When the time comes for whatever that’s coming, I want to be graceful and grateful. I want to be accepting. I don’t want to cause stress and worry to my family. I want to accept whatever it is and do it so I don’t cause the same stress to my family that my dad caused me.
So many people have written or commented saying they are praying for a miracle. I am faithful but I am also a realist. I’m not going to be healed from cancer. My doctors know what they are dealing with. I have been told and I believe my cancer is not curable. My cancer is only treatable… That’s okay…it’s enough.
With that in mind, the best prayers would be prayers that help me and my family to be graceful, grateful, and…to be accepting of whatever happens down the road whenever that may be.
How else am I??? My back has been bothering me a bit. My back is sore in a way I would normally go to the chiropractor and she’d fix me up….but I’m not allowed to go to the chiropractor anymore. UGH. So I’ve been dealing with that. I occasionally tell myself the back is from my office chair at work but then I remind myself, yes you do have cancer and yes, it’s eating your vertebrae so it’s probably more likely the back discomfort is due to that.
This is all totally manageable typically some ibuprofen and I”‘m okay.
I’m so encouraged that I have a plan now. I’ve said it before and will continue saying it, having a plan is so helpful. It gives a person a place to focus their energy and it helps a person feel like they are doing something to work on the problem. (If you missed the blog post about my upcoming treatment, you can read it HERE. )
For now…we’re all good…again, thanks so much for the well wishes, thoughts, and prayers that you’ve been sending our way. It is appreciated.