I've always had an extremely active imagination. For some people, this means dragons swooping down and rescuing them off to an island of candy and sushi, for others, its inventing a wizarding school and an orphaned boy that is destined to save the world and make his creator billions of dollars. For me, it doesn't mean best selling novels, it just means worrying, lots of worrying. I've gotten better over the years and for having a disease that has some pretty nasty outcomes, I am impressed with my ability to remain calm, sane, almost normal. But then check up week came along and normal went out the window.
This is a little story about what happens when a crazy, superstitious lady goes in for her 3 month post cancer check up....
When a crazy, superstitious lady goes for a post cancer check up, she gets nervous a week in advance. I filled the week up with plenty of distractions but by Thursday I was spent. I had golf league but all I really wanted to do was go home and hide so that is what I did. For the record, the patio on a spring night with the hubs, the dog, and a glass of wine is a great way to hide out. I woke up on Friday with a nervous energy. I cleaned the kitchen, did some knitting, caught up on an episode of Once Upon a Time and it was still only 8:30am. When cleaning out the mail tray, I came across this.
When a crazy, superstitious lady comes across a package like this, she hides it at the bottom of her purse. I knew what this was. Any other day, I would have happily ripped it open, but not Friday. Friday I had to face what I had spent 3 months trying to ignore and what was inside of this box could very well jinx it. So the box was hidden, to be opened in the case of good news only. In hopes that the words on the box would in fact come true.
When a crazy, superstitious lady goes to her 3 month post cancer check up, rituals are very important. Breakfast at Panera is a tradition. Being late is a given. We also get on the Thruway at the first Schenectady entrance, not the third. The last time we went that way Mike almost got a speeding ticket and I got cancer. So we don't got that way anymore.
When a crazy, superstitious lady goes to her 3 month post cancer check up, she reads way too much into things. It was busy and I had quite a wait. The staff, who are so well known to me after all of this, said hello like old friends and commented on my hair. Each time I analyzed their words. Did they know something I didn't know? Were my numbers higher than last time? If they didn't sound cheerful enough, I was sure something was up. Any break in eye contact made me worry as to why they couldn't look me in the eye. Never mind that they are busy with people sicker than me. I was too focused on the news I would get to think of anything else.
When a crazy, superstitious lady goes to her 3 month post cancer check up and chats with her oncologist about Match.com she finally relaxes. Yes, we talked about my health, any symptoms I might be noticing, and a lot of gory details you don't need to know. But we quickly switched gears to yoga, dating, and tulip fest. We chatted about upcoming 5ks, summer plays in the park, and life that is assumed to be full, healthy, and long.
When a crazy, superstitious lady goes to 3 month post cancer check up, she gains some much needed perspective. A 3 month post cancer check up is about more than the numbers that come back from blood work. It is about remembering how far I've come and how truly blessed I am to be healthy right now. That is truly humbling. It is about getting strength from the courageous women still fighting cancer and hopefully inspiring them as some one who has been through it as well. Its about the incredible men and women who dedicate their lives to helping us, who cry and laugh with us, deliver that hard news, and empower us meet cancer head on.
When a crazy, superstitious lady allows herself to open that box, put together its contents and put them around her neck she comes one step closer to believing. Believing that she's made it through, believing that she is cured, believing that she is, in fact, a survivor.