It's Been a While...

In more ways than one.

I apologize for the serious lack of posts.  It's been ages and so much has happened, I have no idea how I could possibly "catch up".  And I guess it's really not important for me to do that, anyhow.  If I can get myself recommitted to keeping up with this blog, catching up will be a natural part of the game.  And getting recommitted is one of the top priorities right now.  So with that, I have some blathering to do...

It's been a while.  You know.  Not just since I posted here, but since my diagnosis.  My treatment.  My treatment ending.  My trip to Italy.  My PET scan that declared me "all clear".  All of it.  It's been a while.

When I realized that a year ago this past week was when my mum and I left for Italy... I realized how incredibly far I have come.  How much I've grown.  How much I've changed for the better.  How much healthier and aware and AWAKE I have become.  How much happier.

But I have to admit something.  Despite the many times every DAY I get asked how I am feeling, how I am doing, all of that... and how many times I tell people that I have never felt better, never been happier, am so close to an official YEAR cancer-free (assuming we're going off the date of the aforementioned PET scan)... and all of those things are completely true, by the way... but despite those truths, there is another truth that I don't really share.  One that I almost feel I CAN'T share.

I'm fucking terrified.

I'm afraid every day.  Not 24/7 or anything, but it is there.  Every.  Single.  Day.  When I think about the fact that the changes we've been making to "be healthier" are really changes we are making to "avoid getting cancer again" I want to throw up.  When I try to do self breast exams, I am confused because boobs are lumpy as fuck to begin with and no one ever REALLY taught me what I'm feeling for in there and it's really the ONLY way that I MYSELF can check for cancer of some kind.  I didn't even HAVE breast cancer and now I'm afraid of it.  So that part just sucks.

And then there's my back.  I feel like no one in the world gets as terrified as I get any time they have lower back pain.  I'm sure that's not true, but it feels that way.  Lower back pain.  It was the first symptom that scared me enough to send me to the hospital.  Nearly a year before my diagnosis.  Lower back pain.  Did you know it can be an early indicator of ANY type of cancer??  Sure, cancer isn't USUALLY the cause, but the fact that it can be - it weighs on me.  Any time my back hurts it weighs on me.  Even when I can almost always blame it on sitting for too long or sleeping funny or working out or lifting something stupid... it still sits there, an insidious little nugget in my brain, pecking away at my PMA like nobody's business.

I try so hard not to let these fears in.  I try so hard not to think about whether there is truly a higher likelihood of me getting another form of cancer some time in my life.  I try so hard not to panic at the slightest cramp or twinge or lump or mole or pain or thought.  I try.  So hard.  But sometimes I can't keep all the dark thoughts away.  Sometimes they still scare me.  Sometimes I still have nightmares that I am bleeding again.  Sometimes the stupid fucking cancer still feels like it will always have control over aspects of my life.

And I hate that.

I want to be 100% over it.  To have left it all behind and moved completely forward to this newer, healthier, happier, sparklier, shinier life.  And it pisses me off that it, that cancer, still has the power to take that away.  Not all the time, obviously.  But even just once in a while.  Even for just a few minutes a day.  Whenever it happens.  Whenever it creeps in.  It makes me mad because I still hold very tightly to the belief that my positivity and my refusal to give in are a huge part of what got me through it - of what cured me.  So what does that say, if I am still afraid?  What does it say?


r'n'r-RN said…
phoebe, even with this post you can be saving lives. i have said before that we really need your words...we really do. the stuff that people DON'T talk about.
if I haven't thanked you before, i am thanking you now.
It says that you're human!!! xoxo
Dad said…
Thank you for writing this post. I wondered if you were going thru this, because I have, and stii occasionally do. For me these episodes get farther apart and shorter in duration. They still happen and once I recognize that it's the "cancer fear" going on, it subsides. Sometimes I do not get what's going on but your mom does and kindly alerts me. I do not brag about " kicking cancer's ass" because I recognize that it can come back and kill me. I've decide not to temp it by bragging:).
Right now your mom and I are living our dream and having a wonderful time together!!
mizzjoz said…
Phoebe - I echo everyone's sentiments above. Plus, I have learned more about my lady parts than I would have ever imagined!

I'm a natural worrier so things get amplified for me. My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was 45 and I was not yet 15. Since that time, I worry about getting breast cancer, too. I really struggled when I was approaching 48 thinking I would soon hear the dreaded news. So far, so good. I'll count my blessings and I'm now almost 53. I also remember the day my first husband was diagnosed with HIV and my tests came back negative. I couldn't believe it could be possible. I was told to get tested in 30 days because sometimes the tests don't show the HIV just yet. Those 30 days were agonizing. I figured the negative test result was just a cruel joke. How could I not be HIV+, too? I'd been married for 5 years and been with him for 7. But the second test was negative as have been all the others.

I remember thinking that when he was diagnosed that I had just entered the realm of "being a statistic" and I hated that.

I tell you all this because you aren't the only person who feels that way. I know it sucks. I know you wish it was a nightmare you could wake up from. And I know your parents would have done everything within their power to ensure you didn't go through it.

I do hope that the fear subsides over time because you are such a talented woman and you still have too much to offer people.

I hope you've truly beaten fucking cancer. I hope you smile more. I hope you soar!


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