This month Dr. Wonderful has ordered three separate blood tests on me: a cell search, tumor markers, and a chemistry panel.
…All of my tests came back normal. Normal, people, is code for boring.
Medically boring: yippee!!!
Since all of the evidence coming back indicates that everything is normal, Dr. Wonderful thinks we will do a scan “in the fall.” I know better than to try to nail him down on details: we will thoroughly assess and evaluate every three weeks between now and then as I go in for my current treatment/drugs. If a new symptom/pain/issue pops up, then we will test and evaluate it.
As I sit in the exam room with Dr. Wonderful and we discuss the results, he asks if I have any questions. I say, “Nope. I love normal results. Medically boring is something I pray about; I want to be boring.” As he makes notes on the computer, I swing my feet at the end of the exam table and I give thanks to God for this gift.
It’s hard to articulate the weight of this news. Being “boring” doesn’t lend itself to jumping around and screeching with joy. The inactivity that follows normal test results is a deeply drawn breath; inhale, exhale: peace. It’s a stark contrast to the frenetic activity that would commence if the tests came back with anomalies. Following the “what if” trail leads me down a path of trading in my swim suit for hospital bracelets, lazy summer days with rushing around to tests and appointments, quelling the Worry Monster with a chainsaw instead of a fly swatter.
It’s a big freaking difference. (And note I don’t choose to play the “what if” game.)
I’m grateful for normal. This blessing prompts me to raise my hands and count off my blessings on my fingers until I run out of fingers, and then toes, and it begins to sink in that the blessings in my life are innumerable. I. Am. Grateful.
It has been a tricky few weeks for me. I’ve had to work realllllly hard at my mission: Do Today Well. Jealous Jen reared her ugly head which is annoying because being snarky and jealous makes me feel crappy. But it is mile fifteen of a marathon and I’m human so I am weak sometimes. I am a cancer patient, but I am so much more. I do a disservice to myself when I constantly put on my cancer lens to walk through the world. I don’t do it on purpose, I just have a harder time seeing through the omnipresent cancer weight during cancer-heavy weeks. And while my elephant is cancer, I know that other people carry different elephants: it’s all hard for all of us. I think that scan/test season affects me more than I want to admit… but I’m admitting it now and I’ll be better prepared next time. I remind myself of the big picture: the tests and the scans are not the most important thing.
The real weight and stock of my life is measured in elements that can’t be quantified. I’m tuning my focus on the things that do matter.
So that’s me. I really am inhaling and exhaling with a grateful heart: no change in treatment, no chemo, no interruptions to my life.
Inhale, exhale: peace.
And, for what it is worth, I am celebrating this news. A clinked glass, a “Congratulations!”, and a collective “Phew!” are resonating in my ear. The absence of news is really the best news possible these days. Grateful, indeed.
I’m renewed in more ways than one and am l.o.v.i.n.g. having long days with my girls this summer. We’ve been playing so hard we’ve almost reinstated nap time–for all three of us! Little G tries so hard to keep up, but she often comes begging to go to bed at 5:30 if she hasn’t caught a nap earlier in the day. Maren sneaks off to read for hours at a time, and her favorite nook is the hammock outside. I’m targeting a run every other day, but I’m not quite there. I need to take a break from socializing at the pool and get some lap-swimming in. Brad and I are bucket-listing and enjoying the relaxed schedule and impromptu dates.
Cheers to No Evidence of Disease (NED)! Woot!