I don’t read many cancer blogs. Just a handful. When I first found out I had a chance of having cancer (when the cancer in my uterus was still diagnosed as hyperplasia as opposed to adenocarcinoma – so hopeful) my husband scolded me for reading too much on the internet and scaring myself. I prefer to call it research. And I do still research on the internet, and through books, and whatever I can get my hands on. But I am less scared and have always subscribed to fearing the devil you know as opposed to the devil you don’t know.
Of the handful of cancer blogs I do read, even fewer are in my situation – remission. And to those that are actively seeking remission, I send them hearty remission thoughts. And to those who aren’t hopeful of remission (stage IV), I send them healing thoughts – not that their cancer be healed, but healing thoughts for acceptance and happiness to live whatever life is left (2 days, 2 months, 2 decades) to the fullest.
I am in remission.
But you know what – when you still have to undergo treatment, it is hard to accept that the cancer that once invaded your body is not there any longer. Because the treatment is still first and foremost on your mind. You don’t get the “remission benefits.”
What are “Remission Benefits?”
Well, going about your life and feeling good.
You see, I am “going about my life.” I am trying really freaking hard not to let cancer be me. In other words, I am more than my cancer diagnosis, and I’m trying to, well, compartmentalize the cancer part. I dont’ want everyone who has a conversation with me to feel like all I talk about is cancer. I mean, yes, I do that here, but this is my cancer journal – this is where I’m “allowed” to talk about cancer. And so, most of the time, I’m more about going about my life.
But that is hard to do. Because I’m still going through treatments. So, a lot of my “life” is cancer. Treatment plans, doctor’s appointments, fighting with my short-term disability vendor, and dealing with the fact that I’m stuck at home quite a bit so that I don’t come down with some unholy cold or bug that could throw me in the hospital. And the fact that I’m not able to work at the moment, well, that is tough on me. I want to work. I like working. I like being busy and being able to think about other things. So by going about my life, well, that only happens when I’m feeling good.
Now, the other part of remission is feeling good.
Well, since I’m on a 3 week cycle, “feeling good” comes in spurts. I want to feel good all of the time. And that’s not possible right now. I have one more cycle of chemo this round, and then five weeks of radiation (at least I’ll be able to go back to work), and then I have to have 3 more cycles of chemo. Blech. Just about the time I’ll be feeling good “most” of the time, I’ll be back in chemo.
So, with all that, it is very hard to remember that I’m actually in remission.
I think it will set in more when I’m in remission and done treatments (knock on wood that I stay in remission by the time I’m done). And of course, then, I’ll still have to go through the doctors appointments and tests, but at least the “treatment” part will be done.
And then I think I can enjoy remission.
But right now, it just doesn’t feel like I’m there. So, am I taking remission for granted? I don’t think so. I don’t have actively growing tumors. In fact, there are no cancer cells in my body. That showed up on a CT Scan. And that is great. I am happy about it. Thrilled.
But I’m counting the days until I can actually enjoy it.
And in fact, I brought up the other blogs because I feel guilty for actually being in remission. I feel when I comment on those blogs of people who aren’t in remission, they are secretly thinking, “What do you know? You aren’t dealing with this in the same capacity.” Sigh. It’s hard to reconcile the heart and mind sometimes, no?
So, that rambling being done – I AM thankful I’m in remission. But I don’t feel like I’m in remission. Not yet. And to those of you who aren’t, my thoughts and prayers are with you for whatever you are striving for – remission, acceptance, happiness, whatever.