I feel like the universe is trying to tell me something. Maybe it's just scan time is upon me and it's making me seriously nutzo. My anxiety is on the rise since we got back from L.A. I had a panic attack the day after we got home. Crying, rocking myself, sore muscles type panic attack. Then last night during dinner my chest gets tight, my breath gets wheezy - I manage to get through the boys' bedtime routines without biting anyone's head off (too much), only to be unable to calm down enough to sleep during my own bedtime. I woke up and feel fine today, but I felt fine yesterday morning too. The incessant, nagging, worrying voice in my head just gets louder and louder now that scans are on the horizon again. Mind you - they're not even scheduled. I just know they're happening the week of 2/6 because I have my regular, monthly doctor visits scheduled for 2/10. I'm 3 weeks out from scans and this icky worry is already pissing me off. Then, on the drive home from drop-off this morning, I'm deep breathing and trying to calm myself down and can't even focus enough to answer Mike's question about what do I want to do for dinner tonight. I'm trying to let it go for now -- control only what I can control, right now. I'm holding on to the fact that things are, and have historically been, slow growing. Compared to some women who have a ki67 score (cell proliferation rate) in the 90th percentile, my 5-10% percentile brings me comfort in a small way. Consider the cancer lazy. I'll take that. Perhaps it's not overly ambitious either.
The liver issues are what's bringing me the most angst this time around I think. Because I already have lingering rib pain on the right side, anything I feel there this time I'm somehow correlating to the liver. And I already have arthritic-type pain in my right shoulder, so anytime I feel something there, I question it - is it new? is it old? Because - as I've so kindly educated myself - liver issues can defer pain into the right shoulder. Isn't that nice that I know that? s.m.d.h. seriously.
And then - I log into work today, open up the website and THE FIRST THING I see when it loads is a new page titled "small-cells-big-changes" ... like seriously?!?! What.the.fuck. I quit. I had to start this post or I was going to put a hole in the wall with my head. Now ok - I get it. Pure coincidence. But is it? Yes, these "small cells" are related to technology and not biology. But of course my worry voice - my dark passenger, if you will - goes straight to OMG OMG OMG OMG O-M-GAWD. And then the inherent optimist in me goes, OOH! Maybe it's a sign they're ALL GONE! And she does a little dance.
And now you understand why I'm seriously going nuts over here.
So let's talk about something else. Let's talk about 2016 and how seriously crazy it is that it's been 1 year since this damn diagnosis. 1/3 of what statistics say is supposed to be the life expectancy. ONE-THIRD. Do you know how much that is? It's a lot. Do I believe it applies to me? Fuck no. Call it denial - I don't care. That isn't how it's going to be. I have babies to raise and a husband to make crazy and new home to make. I have family that I love SO MUCH.
Mike and I had a conversation the other night. A hard conversation. His perspective is that everyone around me should do everything they can to make my life easier, because the weight I bear is hand-over-fist greater than the weight anyone around me is carrying. And because of that - deference and accommodation for the situation is deserved. He's trying to protect me and control what he can since he can't control what's happening with me. I told him I don't want special treatment. I don't want to be treated like anything is different because then, to me, it means others accept that this is happening - that others accept that I'm one-third of the way through - and I don't want that. I don't want people to look at me - to treat me - with one foot in the ground -- to put a countdown over my head. I don't accept it and I don't want anyone else to either. But he's so rational. He says he doesn't accept it, but he's not going to ignore it either. He said it's this cloud that's following us. And maybe it decides to forever stay just following, maybe sometimes sprinkling, but never over us - drowning us - but he's not going to pretend that it isn't there. He's going to make damn sure that everyone understands that it's there and that they should also be aware and act accordingly. We don't know how many holidays I'm going to have. We don't know how many winters and springs and summers ... how many anythings I'm going to have. He wants what I want to be first and heavily weighted. And while I think it would be kind of amazing to be the center of our universe, I don't want to impact anyone else's lives more than this is already. So of course I cried a lot during this conversation. I can lie to myself and deny to myself and accept what I want to be true for myself day-in and day-out ... but not to Mike. So it's a good thing he believes more in me, than in statistics. (I only pulled Cs in that class anyway. Who needs statistics.)
So it's a new year and while 2016 was fucking hard - it's over. I'll add it to my collection of life and I'm extremely grateful I get to, shitty parts and all. I've never been one for resolutions in the past, but for 2017 I've got some and I'm kind of passionate about trying to keep them. (did you catch that ... "trying" to keep them.) I make no promises other than I promise to try. Daily meditation and yoga is my first one, in any form. Some days I've accomplished this in 30 seconds, at the same time, as I'm contorted into some crazy position trying to grab a toy under a piece of furniture meditating to calm down and not flip out because the same kid that put it there is now climbing on me and pulling my hair simultaneously. Other days sex covers it - as that is both yoga and meditation as well. Ideally however, it would be at least 30 minutes on the mat followed by 30 minutes of breathing and mindful meditation. Ideally ... but baby steps. My second resolution is that Mike and I do one new thing each month. (Get your mind out of the gutter.) To accomplish this, monthly I will be scouring Groupon to find new and interesting things to try as a couple or as a family. Stay tuned because this should be a fun resolution to follow.
For January, I guess we can accept dressing up as our new thing for January. I don't know that Mike and I have ever dressed up in costume in the 11.5 years we've been together. At least, not that I can remember. While we were in L.A. his work had a conference that ended with a 70's themed party. We stuck to early 70s and went with tye-dye. It was fun and very out of the box for Mike. Additionally, while in LA, I managed to get some girl time with two of my beautiful and amazing cousins. I geeked out a bit at Harry Potter World and was greatly impressed with the look and feel they managed to pull off. I re-discovered my love for roller coasters as well.
2017 is off to a great start. Nicholas is one and walking everywhere, Camden is turning 4 in February, I'm turning 36 in March and Mike's 35 in April. We'll celebrate 7 years married, 12 years together in April as well. I'm hoping to vacation to Alaska or somewhere where we can catch a glimpse of the northern lights before spring is over (but this one might have to wait until the end of the year if the timing isn't right). Most of all, my sincerest hopes and prayers are that this year continues in this positive fashion and that looming scans validate the optimist in me and that she gets to do her happy dance. Overall however, my main resolution is to just live - in every sense of the word.