“What should I do about Mexico, Stacey?” Kevin asked me this morning.
“What do you mean?” I replied.
“I don’t know if I should book tickets for Ben and I.”
“Of course you should. I don’t want cancer to hi-jack our family plans.”
And that’s just it. Cancer can creep into our lives and impact our emotions and daily living – but it cannot take everything away. It cannot and WILL not steal this trip from my eldest son and his father. At least, that’s how I feel. That’s my “fight-back” to this stupid disease.
I already gave up BC. I gave up Mexico. I do NOT want to give up an opportunity for my family to be together.
“If it turns out that this is nothing more than a hernia, then I’m coming!”
But, the likelihood of that is quite slim. I’m confident there is something – but I don’t want to even give it the time of day. I do have to respect it – but I don’t have to cater to it. Right? I don’t know why I feel so calm about this time round. I have come to a point whereby I know cancer may come back my whole life. I have to have faith that the doctors will be able to help me – help my family through every episode. I have to. There is no other choice. Oddly enough – I’m okay with that. Is this “peace” a result of the many prayers that people are sending our way? There has to be some reason. It can’t be because I’m being more rational. That’s just not seeming to be me. Maybe living with this for two years now has allowed me to acclimatize myself to the disease somewhat. It’s hard to tell.
On the other hand, I have to mindful to “spot” the changes to my body in good time. If I neglect to inspect (kind of like that rhyme) then I may let things get out of control. I remember Dr. Bernardini, my surgeon from Toronto General explaining this “balancing act” to Kevin and I almost a year ago.
“You can’t live your life thinking that everything you experience is cancer. Don’t let it consume you. On the other hand, you can’t stick your head in the sand either. This is one of the most difficult side-effects of ovarian cancer is being able to live your life “with” the disease. Think about it like diabetes.”
And that was some of the best advice I got. Diabetes. It never goes away, but, when treated can have very little impact on your life. Be aware of low sugar levels and adjust.
Take out the emotional response and you have a logical path. It’s getting rid of the fear that is the tricky part. But I’m getting there. We are getting there as a family.
Balance is what I need and balance is what I am working towards. This is my new mission. Balance can bring me peace of mind. I need to face the fear with my eyes wide open. Funny, this reminds me of my recent dune-bashing ride in the desert. I was terrified – absolutely terrified. I would have been happy to get out in the middle of the desert and walk home. It was that bad. My hands shook so hard I couldn’t hold my camera. When I found out, after 10 minutes, that there was another 50 minutes more – I had to change my strategy of closing my eyes and praying for it to be over. Funny how when I did open my eyes, it wasn’t as scary. In fact, I could make sense of the dynamics of the car on the sand and realized it was like being in snow. I learned how the vehicle responded to the sand and how the driver would steer. Once I saw the routines – I became more comfortable and almost (dare I say?) enjoyed the ride. I am keeping my eyes open during this cancer -bashing ride. I can’t get out and walk home. There is plenty of time ahead of me. I need to figure out the dynamics of this ride – and how the driver’s will steer me.
And I’m getting there. I have my eyes open – I am learning. I’m working on that balance – so I don’t live in absolute fear while I bash this cancer out of me!