This is the first time I have written about the cancer treatment since I finished my book (and even then, the book finishes before my post BMT/post radiation scan). Eight months ago, my hematologist said, "congratulations we will see you in 6 months," gave me a hug and walked out of the room. Two months ago he said, "hmmm - there are two lymph nodes that are bigger than they were last time, but we don't know what this means. Let's do another scan in 4 months and see what has changed!" Then he gave me a different type of hug and walked out of the room.
Two days later, my BMT doctor (how nice that I don't have to translate these terms for those of you in the world) said, "I have been burned in the past, let us have a PET scan and see if these are glucose active and if so we will go in a radiate those two spots." Four days after THAT, he calls me and tells me that he spoke to the hematologist (how nice they talk to each other!) and the radiation oncologists and #1 given my history of PET scans (too little adipose tissue to show a real contrast) and #2 the radiation oncologists would not radiate two spots based on such circumstantial evidence (ie it could be scar tissue, etc) - we will have another CT scan in two months and take it from there.
Two months is today.
I woke up at 5:50 am with the sun.
Oh shit! Today is the day! I don't know if I can handle this! What if they find something!
Hush, you need to interview the woman at 7 am, why don't you walk there with the dog. Exercise will keep you in your body.
I launch out of bed, quickly get dressed, grab my video recorder, and walk out the door with the dog. The morning is humid and clear, are singing, and puddles glisten on the pavement from rain the night before.
I need to stay present, I cannot feed this. I cannot feed this Fear. Thank you for my health, thank you for my life, thank you for my friends, thank you for a clear scan.
If the scan shows growth they will want to radiate and then I have no more options of treatment left on the table! My body has already received so much radiation already! What happens if all of that radiation causes something else? I can't handle the smell of that machine or the room with no windows or the fact that it will take them 4 tries not to find a vein and being a PATIENT! I am TIRED OF BEING A PATIENT!!
I can feel my chest tighten and muscles clench. Tears start rolling down my cheeks.
Thank god it is early and no one cares if I am crying as I walk.
I blow out my held breath and consciously roll my shoulders.
Relax, feel the wind on your shoulders, the feel of the leash, look at the flowers, you are here NOW. What will be will be, be happy NOW.
The dog barks at a squirrel and lunges toward the chattering creature, yanking my arm holding the leash.
Watch the dog, observe him, pay attention to what is happening NOW.
I smile as the squirrel scampers up the tree, out of reach, quickly the dog moves to sniff a new patch of grass.
I blow out my breath again, feel the warmth in my armpits contrasting with the coolness of the breeze on my arms, notice warmth in my legs as they find their walking stride, connect with my toes gripping the earth to push me off for the next step, embrace the feeling of loose muscles moving smoothly in tandem.
Thank you for this body. Thank you for my wonderful life. Thank you for my peace.