Last week I decided enough was enough and got up off the couch. I was tired of being mad. There is no time for fear and pouting. Life may be short so I needed to get my butt up and do something. I went for a run. My goal was 6 miles. The furthest I have ever run in my entire life was 6 miles years ago. In my current condition, I wanted to prove to myself I could still do it. I was well rested from not doing anything for a week and a half.
I normally did loops near the house in case of “side effects” but that day I was on a mission. I was not turning back toward the house till 3 miles. Guaranteeing I would complete the 6.
When I made it back to the house, I felt good. I found a comfortable pace and wanted to go more. So, I did. Around mile 7 ½ miles my hips and knees started tightening up. But I wanted to see how far my body was physically able to go. I had never pushed till I couldn’t any more. Today was the day. I made it 8 miles. I was so proud and excited. That day I knew I would be able to do the 32 miles.
Today, I am sitting in the waiting room writing this week’s blog. I just had my routine PET scan and am waiting on my doctor for the results. For the test, they inject radioactive material into my arm and then I have to sit completely still for an hour. This allows the substance to settle on any high active areas like cancer. Next, you sit under a machine for around 15 minutes and it detects those areas. The images will show as “lit up” if they are positive and confirm the cancer has likely spread. (click to see more about a PET scan here).
Scans are always scary. “Scanxiety” is a real thing in the cancer world. Your mind convinces you the worst and there is no reasoning with it. A pain here or there suddenly becomes a crippling fear of metastasis to another area. The trauma of being told you have cancer not only once but two times leaves a constant fear your body is failing. Fear, I think, is the most crippling thing about cancer. The unknown. The what ifs. I am slowly learning to trust my body and quiet my mind and just move forward. Both relate to getting through treatments and running 32 miles. Finding mechanisms and little tricks to help ignore the negative voices and focus on what I can control, help me get through those moments. For example, I cannot control what the outcome of my scan will be. I can control what I will have for dinner and what exercise I will do tomorrow. My scan results will not affect either of those decisions allowing me to concentrate on what I can control and push back the fear of the unknown. Focusing on the present and staying active is something I need to be happy.
Update: PET scan was clear of any new cancer. I will be skipping my next treatment to see if that will help with some of the side effects. I will meet with the doctor again in mid-January.
Today I will rest and be happy for good results. Tomorrow, I will work out and continue towards my goal.