Tomorrow I find out the results of my most recent set of scans. The results determine a whole host of things – most importantly whether or not surgery is still an option. As long as the cancer has not grown or spread since my last scan in April I’m good to go for the mastectomy.
Friday marked the end of this round of tests and scans (5 in all) and since then I’ve just been trying not to get caught in the “scanxiety” trap.
On top of all my breast cancer exams, my dermatologist also removed a suspicious mole from my head at my appointment on Friday. So now I’m waiting on the results of that biopsy too. Of course the potential for having skin cancer (yet again) seems minor in comparison to having stage 4 breast cancer. If it can’t kill me – then who cares?!?? Basal cell carcinoma I laugh at you! I’ve got bigger fish to fry.
So what am I doing to stave off all the ‘scanxiety’? Just trying to be in the moment. Trying to have fun… Spending time with my girlfriends… Dancing in the rain with Miss M… Going on mini retreats with hubby… Making time for the people I love… Reading books for pleasure (instead of just books about cancer)… Watching trashy reality TV… Going for rides on hubby’s new motorcycle… Trying to be in the here & now and not allow my mind to wander to the place of “what if”.
One thing I’ve noticed lately is that by taking care of myself again – making fun a priority, meditating, listening to my heart, honoring my spirit, communing with nature, working on my mental mess – I’m finding important lessons everywhere I look. For the longest time I couldn’t see these lessons. I was too caught up in the stress of my life, getting through the day, being there for everyone else and not taking the time to step back, pause, and see what was all around me. Now I see the lessons everywhere… In my everyday tasks… In the trees and the sky… Even in the shows I watch on TV (yes, even the trashy ones! :-).
This past weekend hubby and I went to Harmony Farm for a couples massage & mini-retreat to celebrate our 9 year anniversary. While there I took a walk through the beautiful brick & stone labyrinth they have on site. As I slowly made my way along the path to the center of the labyrinth I noticed how each time I looked too far ahead I lost my balance and went off the path. I realized the key to staying centered was to just focus on what was right in front of me. And I realized how that was a metaphor for life. When I try to look too far ahead into the future it gets me nowhere. To stay balanced I must remain in the moment and focus on today (and maybe tomorrow) but not much further than that.
In my own path to healing I am reminded again and again just how important it is to be still. To quiet the mind. To leave space for the lessons to appear. And try not to look too far ahead.