The end of May is near. Every day I get further and further away from my last day of radiation therapy, and every day I get closer to being cured of my cancer. I see my oncologist in a week, and hopefully I will find out whether or not I have to do more chemotherapy. If he says I am done with treatments, I will be officially be in remission for the next 2 years (remission is the temporary end to a medical disease). If my cancer does not reoccur within the 2 year period, then I will officially be cancer free!
So … the Waiting Game begins. Sigh. The Waiting Game has a lot of rules, many of which mean I can’t make any major commitments in my life or do much until I reach the 2 year mark. I’m learning that this can be a major bummer, because there are so many things that I want to do in my life! My husband, too. We can’t do any major traveling, relocate for work (or pleasure), start any new big projects, or take on any major responsibilities like adopting a child or taking care of a loved one. Two years certainly is not the end of the world, especially considering that most cancer patients have to wait five years until they are in the “clear”. But my husband and I are in our youth, and we want things NOW NOW NOW! 🙂 Sound familiar to anyone? For example, my husband mentioned to me last night, “Hey hun! Wouldn’t it be so cool if I ended up getting a job a fire house in Bend? I hear they are hiring now!”
“Sorry babe,” I had to say, “Not for two years.” Bend is almost four hour away, and I need to be close to my oncology center just in case my cancer comes back and I have to do treatment all over again. I will be having frequent check ups and scans, so it just makes sense to stay close. My husband was bummed because he wants to start his career so bad, but he understood.
I have been back at my job for two weeks now after been gone for six months, and I knew once I reopened the “work” door that I would let the flood water in. And boy, is it flowing! My energy levels are still very low, so I am slowly working my way up to 40 hour weeks again. It’s amazing how after about 5 hours of working in the office, my body just literally shuts down to where sometimes I feel like I can’t even drive myself home. This totally conflicts with my mindset of wanting to be treated just like any other employee [who has to work 9am-5pm] and how I want to set a good example as being apart of a family business. Pacing myself has been difficult (“I want it NOW NOW NOW!” lol), but if I don’t do it, then my body does it for me.
I’ve always said that the hardest part about having cancer is being sick on the inside and not on the outside. The treatments literally kill my almost everything inside of me, but on the outside I look “fine”. You would not be able to pick me out of crowd as having cancer. Because of this, people can have unrealistic expectations of me because I look healthy, and they can’t understand why I can’t do what they do. Unfortunately, I am just as guilty of doing this to myself.
Just because I’m done with radiation treatment does NOT mean I can flick the switch from “sick” to “better”. No one needs more reminding of this more than me. It will take months before I will get my energy back, and it’s going to take two years before I know the cancer is really gone. As much as I don’t want to be treated like a sick person at work or any where else, the truth is that I AM A SICK PERSON. Ugh, why is that so hard to say? Maybe because it’s the truth, I guess.
Now that I have had a few days to let The Waiting Game really sink in, I think I am ready to reroute my life a little bit. I was resistant to it at first, but now that I have thought about it actually feels nice to have a period of time when I can just relax and not have to worry things like making a big career move, or starting a family, or having to take care of other people. The only thing I have to worry about is taking care of myself!
So, what will I do for the next two years? Since one of my dreams is to have a “big” career in the wedding and event industry, I am going to focus on doing little things to help make this dream come true. I’m going to work towards earning some certifications, take a few classes, do some job shadowing, and continue to network. Nothing too fancy! Another one of my dreams is to live a clean, holistic and healthy life, so I will also be educating myself on how to do this. I want to know everything form the foods we eat to the chemicals we use and how it affects us. Since having cancer, my ultimate goal is to keep my lifestyle and body totally healthy, green, and free of crap.
Ok everyone, time to get back to my relaxing weekend! 🙂
One of my calming daily affirmations: