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When being a realist gets tough… August 6, 2009

Posted by PAS in cancer, survivorship.
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Reality bites when I least expect it.

I tell myself (and others) that I don’t often get what my friend MC calls “scanxiety.” I’ve had over 50 CT scans and MRIs, and I’ve come to accept that I can’t control the outcome of the scans I get every 90 days. But I can control my responses…yeah, well, to a point.

When I’m nervous, my colostomy reminds me with less control over my output.
This happens sometimes prior to a scan (my next one is Saturday), prior to showing my dog (like last Sunday), prior to an important meeting or presentation (just before my last performance review.) I always put on my game face, but my guts talk directly to my stoma, and it doesn’t lie.

This morning I couldn’t lie either when in a company retirement seminar, the presenter repeated for the 20th time, “because you’re investing for the rest of your life–the next 30 years, not the next 10.” Yeah. Right. That advice could work — if I didn’t have stage IV rectal cancer.

And as I struggled with the sudden tears, the voices in my head taunted back: invest for the rest of your life–and if you get 10 years, girl, that will be some kinda record. You better get a book deal if you make it that long!

The people who think only 20 or 30-year-olds have those kinds of thoughts, feel those instantly helpless feelings, and experience the sense of their lives being stolen away need to take a hard look around life out here in the real world of every cancer survivor. Those moments aren’t dictated by age — they’re dictated by diagnosis, by cancer.

Reality bites.



1. Whidbeywoman - August 6, 2009

You are so right. Reality bites. I don’t think people who have gone through cancer or have a loved one that has, really know what we experience. We are starting to get nervous about Ron’s PET scan… it is the end of this month. The waiting is the worst part. Anticipating it, then wondering what the results are and waiting for the phone to ring. It is nerve-wracking! Good luck to you. I will say a prayer for you tonight.

2. azahar - August 9, 2009

Reality does often suck the big one. Half the time I just get by in a semi-denial “I’ll think about that tomorrow” state. Well, when I’m not recovering from ops or on chemo. But yeah, it can just come up and bite you when you least expect it.

I hope it went well and you get your results soon.

Strong thoughts, honey!

3. dphealthcareconsulting - August 9, 2009

Great Blog! You are a credit to the cancer blogging community. I have added you to my blogroll, “Cancer Blog Links” with over 600 other cancer blogs at http://www.beingcancer.net, a cancer networking site featuring a cancer book club, guest blogs, cancer resources and more. Please stop by and visit. If you like the site, please consider adding Being Cancer to your blogroll.
Take care, Dennis

gaelenscafe - August 9, 2009

Dennis, I’m honored to be part of your blog-roll…and BeingCancer is now on mine. Strong thoughts!

4. Rotorhead - August 12, 2009

I like the new blog format. Interesting entry… I guess we see things in different ways. Hope you have a chance to stop by the waterblog for my spin.

gaelenscafe - August 12, 2009

I did, RH. I’m not sure we’re taking such a different approach, but I like the way you put it here . The only thing on which we might have a different take is on finding daily work that you really enjoy. For me, that’s now a very high priority. Work isn’t about just getting it done anymore; I spend too much time working to not have my work incorporate the activities and people I enjoy.
Noticed that you’ve also been making some changes in your blog; nicely done!

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