Friday, March 1, 2013

Here We Go Again

This morning, I would give just about anything to be back at the beach, walking hand in hand with The Peanut, and soaking in the sounds of the pounding surf against the sand.  That seems like eons ago at this point.

Yesterday morning started early.  We were at the hospital before 6:00 am for another biopsy, this time the sort of mammatone one that allows the surgeon to sink a hole deep into breast tissue and pull out little pieces for analysis without having to do a full biopsy.

Sadly, this is not my first rodeo with this kind of testing.  The good news is, though, that the healing process for this is so much better than a full lumpectomy -- so I'll take the soreness and better recovery time any day, thanks.

During my mammogram, they found a mass deep on my left side that required immediate testing.  So here I am, again waiting for yet another set of test results, again hoping for a miracle. 

I know that it is absolutely possible that this will again be benign.  But I also know that the law of large numbers says eventually we'll get something that isn't.  Again.

On the one hand, this is what my life has become the last few weeks of test after test, appointment after appointment.  On the other?  This is not even remotely how I want to define myself, nor is it how I want others to define me. 

Lately, I have been struggling a bit to come to terms with how a long term slog like this -- with constant vigilance and reminders and testing and all the accompanying stress and mental strain -- can be reconciled with living a full and happy life where you savor each day and love the people around you with everything you have.  It is tough not simply giving way to the darker side of my thoughts these days.  If I'm being honest, optimism is hard to come by of late, and that begins to seep into every crack, every fiber, every thought.

Which makes me awfully fun, I'm certain.

Honestly, who would voluntarily choose to have to face this sort of constant testing and worry slog?  No one in their sound mind, right?

And yet?  I have to find some way to do this, to be as vigilant as I need to be to stay on top of all of this, while still holding on to the core of who I truly am when I'm not scared witless that my child will be left without her mother at the end of all of this.  Not the easiest way to breathe in and out, I have to say, but here I am.

Today, I'm going to spend some time thinking about finding more joy, seizing my days and doing the things that bring me laughter and happiness a lot more often.  So that I can do the same for the people I love, who have been struggling right along with me the last few weeks and have done their best to love me through this latest turn of events.

Whatever comes, we will get through it and face it head on...because that really is the only way for me, to overcome the latest hurdle and keep moving forward. 

In the meantime, though, I need to find a way to live in a happier moment all the days in between.  I refuse to just be "person struggling with cancer" for the rest of my life.  Instead, I want to find a way to celebrate all the little victories, challenge myself to new goals, and laugh a whole lot more whenever I possibly can.

(Photo of The Peanut at Hilton Head this past December by Christy Hardin Smith.  All rights reserved.)

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