What now?

It's been 6 days since my last scan.

Which means that my next scan is in 84 days.

       It seems crazy to be anticipating the next scan, this last scan gave me more than I thought would be possible. Particularly given the time frame, 3 short months ago my body was filled with cancer. I was staring down 6 months in the face. The fear, anxiety, stress, acceptance roller coaster was (still is, really) taking a serious toll on my energy. Energy that I don't have much of due to ya know, the whole fighting cancer thing. But this scan, THIS SCAN!! Gave me that hope and that jolt of energy I so desperately needed. The most common question was "What are you going to do now?" and while I wanted to be like margarita party STAT! I quickly remembered I do still have two tumors in my lungs and am going through chemo. Then I was reminded again while I was at the doctor's office, alone like the strong IN-DE-PEN-DENT woman I am damn it, and had to run to the bathroom to vomit. Then barely make it home in time for round 2. Le sigh.

Ok, so I'm not cured. I don't magically feel better. I still need chemotherapy, for now. What I do have now is a feeling of hope for the future. Hope that I actually have one! I kept a brave face and I told that cancer every day it didn't stand a chance, I told that to anyone who asked as well. But there's saying it, believing it, and then there's telling the asshole in your head to take a leap when she tells you to give up. And that's REALLY hard to do sometimes. I'm also just realistic, and the statistics on my disease suck. I don't like being blind-sided or kept in the dark about ANYTHING, let alone the reality of my life expectancy. I know nobody knows what their life expectancy is, but this new scan told me that if I die tomorrow, it's not cancer that'll do it. Which alone feels like a freedom I haven't had since January 27th. That freedom actually feels like a luxury if you can believe it. After being gripped by fear for so long you almost don't remember how to actually relax. I'm working on it.

So, what am I going to do next? I don't know. Honestly, I don't. I feel like my life has so many possibilities right now, and I want to get to all of them. I'm trying to be accepting of the concept of 'active healing.' A concept I have resisted very strongly for the entirety of my life. If you have met me in recent years you've met the toned down version of me. I had approximately 4 reserve tanks of energy. Last to bed, first awake. Working 60 hours a week and playing maybe more...yeah, that's WAY over. And of course age comes into play, I'm not 19 living the absolute dream on Cape Cod anymore. But I'm a little 'old before my time' over here. It feels like I'm coming out of that now though. My many helpers have departed and left me to my own devices! Now I'm here trying to create a new routine. What do I want these next months before my next scan to look like? More of the same healing work? Yes. More of the same chemo? Yes. But what can the in between look like? I'm hoping a little more freedom. Freedom from the daily fear. That fear felt like a trap, stuck in my house because I was afraid to go out and be let down or that I'd do something wrong. I still feel a bit stuck in my house, especially after that incident at the doctor's office I mentioned earlier. But there's a renewed energy, good news has a way of doing that. And Lord knows I needed a win right now.


I'm going to wake up every day and see where I'm at. That is all I can promise myself,  I'm going to try to accept where I am every day. My hemoglobin has been EXTREMELY low which makes breathing difficult. Not fun for a singer-songwriter/yoga teacher who's entire life is about breathing. It's a challenge I have and with this renewed energy I've found a renewed strength. One that I needed to get through these types of challenges. Problem solving isn't exactly the strong suit of a person living in extreme fear. Or maybe it just isn't my strong suit when in fear. Or maybe it IS a strong suit of mine, because I got myself on the other side of it now. With time comes clarity, and honestly the last few months have felt like a massive blur. Being whisked away on free vacations to bucket list locations, performing at SXSW,  which was a career bucket list item for me! Getting treatments which made me lose at one point 14 pounds (we are back to it making me lose 10 pounds-I'm eating I swear), struggling through performances I wanted to be stronger for. And honestly not knowing if this entire whirlwind would come to a screeching halt with this last scan, or if all this energy was wasted and maybe I should just be doing whatever I want because the fight can feel pointless sometimes. I'm learning what my new normal is, because even if I am at NED-No Evidence of Disease it can always come back. I will always be treating and maintaining this disease.

This summer I will still be receiving chemo treatments, still be going to lots of doctors appointments. On my off weeks though-I'm going to go where the wind blows me! I'll be working hard with R&C, writing new songs, recording,  and even gigging when I feel up to it. Teaching yoga whenever I can, maybe trying to do more, or maybe NOT. Maybe I work on active healing so I can (hopefully) be NED at my next scan! See? I'm arguing with myself on my own blog, I have got to learn to relax!

  All those possibilities out there that I'm ready to get to will have to wait a little longer. And I'll be here working on my patience. Working on my patience may be just as difficult as working on my cancer..........

XOXO,

Jenny

Comments

  1. Cheers to high hemoglobin, lots of patience, and a visit from NED by the end of the summer!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dear Jenny,

    We feel a combination of sensitivity & expectation for you now! Although we have never met, we know your Dad & stepmom.

    We have been and will continue to ask God to give you reasons to have hope despite any current symptoms because you can see the possibility of a NED report. Our DIL is now lymphoma free for several years- she even miraculously gave birth to a very active son which made his big sis very happy. Their story is miraculous in light of the impact chemo had on her reproductive system!

    We will continue to play r role with God regarding ur health and life- we look forward to hear of you expectantly continuing to push forward.

    We believe in God, we believe in you AND WE LOVE YOU!

    ReplyDelete

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