Lately, I've been weighed down by the haunting realization that I need to schedule scans again. March marks a year of having received great, great news and you may wonder if the fear softens over time — if your confidence grows exponentially with each encouraging result. But that hasn't quite been the case. Not for me, at least. Not yet.
These past three months — glorious, peaceful, scan-free months — I've made serious efforts to channel positive and successful vibes in 2020. I started exploring different cafes around Manhattan to blog from instead of my isolated apartment and even committed to writing a book, a process which excites me as much as I find it insanely challenging.
I'm finally finding my groove after years of cancer devastation and have been happy, which should be great. Except, with scans lurking around the corner, having more to lose seems to have morphed from a joyful, wondrous quality to an onerous burden right before my eyes.
Back when first diagnosed, cancer straight up blindsided me. I never saw it coming and had no idea what to expect on the road ahead. Then, during chemo or while facing recurrences, I feared for my life.
It was as simple as the paralyzing and primal fear of, what happens if you don't wake up the next morning? What happens if it all fades to black? That type of, holy crap, whatever you do, please change the subject, fear.
But this time around, newfound joy and passion have added a different layer to Scanxiety:
I just want my fair shot. Give me a chance to play this out.
And while ultimately, I may not have total control, that's a depressing and generally unhelpful thought. Instead, I'm focusing on carrying out what I believe are 'the right moves'. Moves like maintaining a clean, nutrient-rich diet, soaking up time with loved ones and nature to maintain good spirits, focusing on gratitude and keeping up with supplements and regimens that have helped get me this far along my quest for wellness.
There's no one stop cure or "easy button" with cancer. My mind still plagues me with superstitious worries and it's nearly impossible to sit still or reach a state of inner peace. But these actions are my attempt at gaining every possible edge needed to maintain a state of wellness while also avoiding guilt or doubt that I've left anything on the table.
They're my way of focusing on what I can control: doing the best that I can, one day at a time.