Do I believe I’m getting better? Absolutely. The physical evidence is there. My tumors have shrunk. And all around, I feel really good. Yes, I get tired a bit more easily. But as my husband Don often reminds me, my treatments have only reduced me to “mere mortal” status — down a few notches from Superwoman.
Still, those thoughts nag at me from time to time. Come on out of nowhere. Make my heart beat a little faster, maybe trigger a few tears.
It’ll be Easter, and I’ll find myself breathing a sigh of relief that I lived to see (or be) the Easter Bunny. Wondering if I’ll be here for Memorial Day. Or, my favorite holiday, the Fourth of July. Then my mind wanders on to Labor Day…and Halloween. Will I be here to take Theo out trick-or-treating in my sister-in-law’s neighborhood as has become our tradition? What about Thanksgiving? Will I be stuffing a turkey, watching the parade, wishing that evening that I’d had a bit more self-control at the table? And then there’s Christmas…that’s a biggie. Finding and chopping down the “perfect” tree. Lighting candles at Christmas Eve service. Watching Theo open his presents.
Each month, as I flip the calendar to the next page, I realize I’m still here. Not only am I still here, but I’m doing well. I’m doing life.
As I put more and more distance between my Jan. 12, 2011 diagnosis and today, I breathe a little easier, feel a bit more confident, find my thoughts turning less often to what might not be, more often to what I think will indeed be.
I may be fighting a Cancer State of Mind every day, but every day, it’s a little less than the day before.
Copyright 2011, Amy Rauch Neilson