|Celebrating health and a head of hair, at the Cancer Support Community|
This spring I participated in a writing workshop at the Cancer Support Community -- which is a fabulous place for patients and caregivers by the way -- and at one of the sessions I wrote about my fear of recurrence. It's something every cancer patient thinks about... it sort of lurks in the back of your mind at times. Here it is.
I go on, despite the uncertainty.
I move on, in small, sometimes imperceptible ways.
I soldier on, marching straight ahead,
But with eyes that dart ahead and to the side,
Searching for signs of danger, knowing the enemy
Is quite possibly lurking in some hidden alley or underground bunker,
Ready to spring into action,
Rifles loaded, scoped in on me.
I carry on, resolute, stoic, reassuring others,
As if nothing unusual has happened to me
But with legs in the ready stance
Should an attacker come my way.
Risks, I used to think of as things to fear,
Such as skydiving or walking on an icy sidewalk.
Now risks are numbers mentioned by doctors,
Percentages that hold magic,
That seem to know something I don’t.
I bow to them in reverence, not knowing what else to do.
Can You Help?
On a lighter note, tomorrow my mom and I are participating in a fundraising walk for Cancer Support Community. As I mentioned, it's a great place to go if you or a loved one are dealing with cancer. It's part of a nationwide organization formerly known as The Wellness Community. They offer great programs such as Art for Recovery, yoga, Qui Gong, meditation, support groups, healthy cooking classes and a dance/martial arts/movement class called NIA.
While 2013 has been my time for healing, it's been my mom's time for sickness and treatment. Many of you know that my mom, Carol, is undergoing treatment for Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL). This is a blood cancer that has no cure, so the goal is to get the patient into remission. After four sessions of chemo (January through April), my mom's oncologist and a specialist determined that the drugs weren't stopping the disease, so now she's participating in a very exciting trial at Siteman Cancer Center. We'll find out in a few weeks how well the trial drug is working. Only 110 people worldwide are part of the study, and it just opened at Siteman/Washington University two months ago. Great timing, I'd say!
My mom was there for me at my chemo sessions and all my doctor visits, studiously taking notes and asking questions. Now, I'm the scribe and supporter (along with my dad). The tables are turned and I'm just grateful I can be there for her. She's got a great attitude and feels pretty good most of the time. The chemo had been knocking her down quite a bit so we're glad that's over.
Thinking about it now, sometimes it seems unreal that I had cancer, like it was just a bad dream, or something that happened to someone I know. It's gone now, so let's move on. But wait a minute - before we do that I want to thank you, my friends and family, for your supportive notes, meals, visits during chemo sessions, chocolate-covered blueberries, funny books, helpful books, inspirational books, jewelry, flowers, pajamas and phone calls. I felt VERY LOVED!
I'm thinking right now that I'm not quite ready to give up this blog. So maybe I'll post random thoughts from time to time. I also need to post photos from the Wig Party - it was crazy and fun!
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