Back in July, I had my 6 month post treatment mammogram on the side where my cancer once was. I was a bundle of nerves, more so than I had expected. In the past year, I have had it beat into my head (by a few medical professionals) that my cancer was going to come back, that it would come back soon, and with a vengeance because of the grade of tumor and how aggressively it began to grow. I’m almost embarrassed at how freaked out I was. I became so thrown off when I went into my appointment because they told me I didn’t have a doctor’s order (not true) and they changed my appointment to only doing a mammogram to the affected side and not a bilateral. No wonder why they made me wait so long after my scheduled appointment time.
When it was time to face the mammogram machine once again, I kept having flashbacks of March 2019 when my cancerous lump was being imaged and all the non-so-silent-whispers of “so sad” were heard. But I knew I had to be brave and find out if my cancer returned, one way or another. Quickly, any thought of fear went out the door and grimaces of pain were all I could think about. A mammogram hurts WAY more after chemo, surgery, and radiation. Holy crap. I also pleaded with the universe to not have an earthquake at that moment. Because you know, southern California.
They reviewed my imagines and found no signs of cancer. I felt a huge amount of relief. A thought I didn’t dare think about finally came through. Maybe I get to live after all?
The past year and a half has been strange. I have planned to both live and die. When you are a cancer patient, there are so many unknowns. I planned to fight and stay alive. I also planned my death so things would be easy for my loved ones who left to pick up the pieces. You may think that’s morbid, but if you were going to die, wouldn’t you want things easier for your loved ones? Wouldn’t you want your wishes honored? I can’t tell you how much peace and comfort it gave me during treatment to have decided where my final resting place would be.
For now, I don’t have to have such a close relationship with death. I know it’s coming, and it’s likely coming sooner for me than the average person. But, I am okay with that. I have to be. For now, I get to focus on living. On making a difference. On writing my love letter to life. And hoping that I have mattered to others.
Thank you for sticking with me.
I currently live quarter to quarter, so I completely understand the “planning for living and dying at the same time”. My husband doesn’t like when I talk about planning my death, so that makes me even more anxious. I’m happy that your 6 month was clear.