Yesterday morning I took this picture of myself. I was trying to get a picture of me wearing my Hope4Kay shirt in honor of scan day. I snapped it as I was walking into the nuclear imaging unit where I do my PET scans. I was trying to smile, but I didn’t particularly like the look on my face. But looking at it today… it made sense to me. I see worry, fear, and uncertainty in my expression.
This is how I was feeling.
Honestly, this is exactly how I feel before every scan. There is always uncontrollable stress and anxiety that builds the week leading up to my scan…and no matter how much I try to pray and meditate, it’s still there.
In June, we got incredible news. Two of the tumors shrunk by half and the third was unchanged. I was convinced that my lifestyle changes had made an impact and things were moving in the right direction!! But then July hit, and so did vacations, travel, visitors, and birthdays. My tidy schedule of taking care of myself went into chaos and a girl who loves to eat can only be so disciplined when surrounded by people who eat “normal food.”
I did my best to be mostly good, to rest as much as possible, pack salads and juice, and meditate when I could. But I wasn’t as disciplined or compliant during these last three months. I actually wasn’t expecting a good report (as the picture above kind of shows). I kept wondering, “was being mostly good, good enough?”
Don’t get me wrong, I was pretty “good” by most people’s standards. But even eating the occasional banana, handful of popcorn or digging into a bag of Terra chips (which technically ARE vegetables) made me worry.
A little slip here and there… before you know it, I was feeling like I had weeks of perpetual vacation from my strict cancer-fighting diet.
I had this internal battle in my head; one side of me was kicking myself for not being more strict, the other was rationalizing that I was living my life the best way I knew how given my circumstances. I feel like a guinea pig, not only because they take so many vials of blood for research, but because simultaneously I am doing my own study. Trying to prove that nutrition makes a difference in the fight against disease.
My hope was that yesterday’s scan would just be stable…
so that I could continue to keep living my new normal…
so I could continue to heal on my own…
And so I didn’t have to make any decisions about treatments should we see progression.
Dr. Miklos was running a little late, so his nurse sat down at the computer to share the scan results.
“I already overheard him say that it was stable, so that’s good.” ☺️
The moment she said this a wave of relief completely overcame me as I took a huge inhale. I hadn’t even realized I was holding my breath.
Stable. Relatively unchanged.
Dr. Miklos was happy too! It’s always a good thing when you can spend your office visit discussing the books you’re reading or the latest putter he just bought in place of what treatment options we have to consider.
I loved hearing him say,
“Congratulations! Get out of here and go enjoy your family!”
Up to this point, I have been doing all these things in hopes of healing myself of cancer. But today I am doing these things KNOWING I will heal myself of cancer and the shift in this mindset is priceless.
God is so good. He gave me the biggest gift by taking something away..
my Fear and Uncertainty.
I know I had a ton of people praying for me… thank you all for your unfailing love, support and prayers. And thank you Kathy, my dear sister, for watching over the girls this week and helping me manage the chaos in my house this week!!
I have 6 months before my next scan and for the first time ever, I can’t wait to see what it will say.
Starting today I am on a mission, fully committed, to expect a great report in March.
Today I am empowered.
Today I am determined.
Today I am fearless.
Onward and Upward,