Universal Reminders…#MondayBlogs

Universal, as in “from the Universe,” as opposed to, let’s say, something we ALL receive in the exact same way.

I’m going for my oncology follow-up in 1 week. This is the usual look-see that my doctor has to verify that I am still in remission. Although I love hearing that I am (every single time, it never gets old, really), the 1 week wait between the required labwork and the visit with my oncologist is the longest week of my life (also every single time).

I was sitting in the waiting room of the lab this morning, going through my nearly OCD routine. I have an “OCD” thing about what scares me (so, in the lab and during take off on airplanes): set newly reorganized purse directly to my left (yes, I reorganize my purse right before this lab appointment each time); stare at lab requisition form and reread it 3 times to be sure there’s nothing new or nothing overlooked (because the doctor didn’t do that, right?); re-do my ponytail (that hair tie just isn’t tight enough); check posture; deep breathe; close eyes; begin process over again until called back. I’m sure this fidget routine drives the other people waiting a bit up the wall, but it is my fidget and it keeps me semi-composed.

Then, they call me back and do the blood draw. Once upon a time, I had the same phlebotomist each time. Now, it’s a new face. Always, always, I tell them we can’t draw blood on the left – even though this should be in my chart. Always I am asked why. Invariably, I am told I am “too young” to have had cancer 4 years ago. I agree, and if I had been 110 years old 4 years ago I would still consider myself too young. There is no “good” age for breast cancer.

After the ritual, I wait for the week. I remind myself that I’ve never had a problem, that I’m strong, healthy, setting PRs in running, eating many cruciferous greens and avoiding chemicals and sugar (except coffee, I’m not avoiding coffee). I remind myself that I am stronger than cancer, and have already kicked its ass once. If all else fails, I consider that I could and would kick its ass again if I had to do that (and God, please, I don’t want to have to do that again).

As a positive person, the check-in is a double-edged sword. On the one hand I have “woo hoo! Still in remission!” But on the other hand I have, “has my body let me down again?” It’s a tricky tightrope to maneuver. So, I’ll hit the pool and push myself through the water and exhale on an “Om” with each breath. I’ll write as if my life depends upon it. I’ll tolerate the God-awful sleep interruptions that come with anxiety. I’ll cuddle my kids, and trap Lara’s leg while she tries to sleep at night. I will cope.

And in 1 week from today, I will hear that my cancer has not come back. That I am still free, and can still breathe for another 4 months.

Those are the #MondayBlogs thoughts for the day. Blessings to you all!

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