Today is my last day of chemo treatment week 8, I have 4 to go. 9 weeks from now, I will be scheduling a myriad of fun from colonoscopy’s to PET Scans to confirm that I have indeed kicked cancer in the butthole.
Nine weeks from now, I will be hating winter and planning summer camping trips and trips to the beach that I had to cancel last year when cancer came busting into our life. 9 weeks from now I will be scouring travel sites for a discounted trip to some hot steamy beach where I can lay in the sand, a freezing cold margarita in each hand. I will lay there beside my husband and we will talk about life and we will talk our daughter and we will talk about what we want to eat that night or where we can find a Grapefruit Sculpin. We will pretend we did not have to cancel our 10 year anniversary. We will not talk about cancer, because it will be behind me, behind us. It will be a battle that I already fought, a battle I fought and won and am working to forget.
That is my hope, that after this, I will be able to forget and find peace.
I have navigated this cancer fight with as much ignorance as I could muster. I only ask the questions that I need answered. I have not asked about relapse or chance of reoccurrence. I have not spent a moment thinking about it, until last week.
I am a reality TV addict. I love nothing more than zoning out to mindless television. So when Diem Brown (a former MTV challenge participant and cancer survivor) popped onto my Instagram feed, I followed. Then I realized that she had cancer, again, not for the second time but for the third. What seemed like days later, she was gone. That’s it, it came back and in a blink she was gone. I felt my throat closing and my head threatening to explode. I am fighting cancer and I am fighting it pretty fuckin well if I do say so myself.
However, I have an end game. I have 9 more weeks and I am done. In 9 weeks, I walk away from the last 6 months, middle finger in air and I storm into my future with my family and my friends. I have no intention of doing this again, I can’t do this again. Yet I am shaken, really and truly shaken. I have cancer, my sister has cancer and we are fighting like Ali to kick its ass. We will kick its ass and then we will have to learn to live without fear. This has generally been easy for me, I am not someone that focuses on what can go wrong. I am an eternal (to the point of being annoying) optimist. I don’t want cancer to change that. I don’t want to live my life in fear.
So I asked the questions, I asked about percentages and chances. I asked about precautions and testing. I asked all the questions I could and I hoped for peace, but I found none.
So now, I am trying to banish the word relapse from my mind. I am trying to focus on beating cancer NOW. I am trying to find a way to not fear my future. I am trying to find a way not to crumble with fear, when I hear about someone fighting a fight that I deem more difficult than my own. I am trying to find a way to re-center and focus on today.
I need to focus on today, every single day. So today, I am not going to let myself quiver in fear over some unknown that will hopefully never happen. Today, I am going to drink my coffee while wearing my fuzzy slippers. I am going to write my grocery list as I salivate over my favorite Thanksgiving sides. I am going to finish making 20 juice box turkeys with my little Bean by my side. I am going to snuggle with my family and I am going to live for today. Today there is no fear of my cancer returning some far away day in my future, there is no fear of fighting this fight again. Today, my only fear is making it to the market before all the good yams are picked out…and running out of coffee creamer. Yes, running out of coffee creamer on a blustery winter day…now THAT is something to fear.
What? It could happen, we REALLY like coffee...and frou, frou creamer!