Fighting a Cancer State of Mind

6 06 2011

Kicking back at our annual Fourth of July Bash, 2010. Photo by Amy Rauch Neilson.

I catch myself doing it every so often. Looking forward to a holiday one minute, then, the next minute, wondering if I will be here to see it.

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



10 responses

6 06 2011
brian Murphy

Amy–you are not only learing to really live, you are teaching the rest of us how to Really Live!

6 06 2011
Therese Becker

Have you ever considered going to see John of God in Brazil? I’ve heard wonderful things about him. Wonderful blog here, and best of everything to you. You are an excellent writer! 🙂 There’s also a special event that happens every year on Shambhala Mountain in Colorado where women who have had a cancer diagnosis gather. It’s called Courageous Women. I went one year, and it was wonderful. Hugs, Therese

6 06 2011
Laurie Horn

Good for you, Amy. Keep fighting it. I totally agree with what Don said about “mere mortal” status and what Brian said in his comment.

6 06 2011

I know its easier said than done, but you are doing it!

6 06 2011

I think it’s only normal that you wonder if you will be here to celebrate upcoming special events; but when you think of it, not a single one of us can be sure we will be here tomorrow. It is too bad if often takes a serious illness to realize this. It makes me wonder if the world would be a better place if we all ‘lived like we were dying’. Thank you for the reminder to really live, and enjoy, each and every day. Hoping you take in and enjoy all the little miracles happening around you each day. Have a good one!

6 06 2011
Carol Phillips

Lord willing you will have many holidays to look forward to. God will give you the strength and grace to meet each day. Welcome to the mere mortal club, we are glad to have you. 🙂

6 06 2011

Never a mere mortal! That goes for any of us. We are all God’s creatures and through Him we can do anything my dear.

You are showing us how God meant for us to live everyday. That does not mean at full speed all the time, or we will miss the small moments that only can be seen in the quiet times.

Continued prayers as always! :~)

6 06 2011

Amy you are not alone…I too, have had those thoughts. I think a cancer dianosis forces us to contemplate those days but if we aren’t careful, it robs us of today. It’s a fine balance between looking too far down the road, and seeing the beauty of the road we are on at the moment…
I prayed for you this morning on my walk! Wow whee was it hot!
He is faithful,

6 06 2011

So you’ll soon be losing ‘brat status’? 🙂

6 06 2011
Deborah Ann Peters

You never lost your “super woman status”. You are more super woman now, then ever before in your life. Thank you once again for sharing your thoughts with us.

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