Tag Archives: fear

When Symptoms Return

Earlier this week I did Yoga. The little alien (what I have taken to calling my adrenaline mass) was angry about being scrunched up in some of those moves.  There was a part of me that was happy to annoy him with such things! Kinda like how I poke at him saying “die, die”.  You are not wanted.  Get out.

Image result for stomach alien

This morning I had some blood show up in my stool. Talk about miniature freak out. I called the dr and everything.  This was the only symptom I had when I was first diagnosed 4 years ago!  Of course I am going to freak out.  “No No NO… you can’t be getting worse.”  Plus Mr. Alien is still mad at me and hurting a bit.  Fears of things getting worse inside my body.  It is like I am waiting for things to start growing again.  I am waiting to hear bad news.  The nurse on the other line kindly informed me it was probably just from how my bowls like to swing to different states.  If it gets worse, call back…  Okay.  Still doesn’t put me to 100% at ease.  Tomorrow is my vacation day from chemo.  So I am hoping that things are staying the same except annoying Mr. Alien, and that I am okay with.

Related image

Still there is a part of me worried about what I can’t see. What is going on inside my body where I don’t have information until I get my scan in a week or so (guess I need to schedule that…. ).  Just hope and pray that I am still holding still.  Please let me be holding still.  Please let my body be winning the fight against the alien.  Please.  Tonight might just be a Xanax night….

Quarterly Cancer Check Up Gone Wrong

So my hiatus from here was long.  I have a feeling it will become frequent again.  On Friday I had a dreaded Quarterly Cancer Check Up.

For those of us who have to go through this routine torture, it is nothing short of torture.  When you don’t have this appointment looming, you forget about the anvil over the head.  You forget that there is this huge risk to your life that you are always facing.  However, leading up to the checkup when you have to do whatever tests they want you to do, you are reminded with the very real reality that something may be going wrong with your body.  Something completely out of your control.  So for a few days before that appointment you are scared, nervous and just overall unhappy.  At least that is how I am.

So I am patiently sitting in the exam room.  Okay, maybe not patiently.  But I am sitting there.  When my oncologist walks in I can tell there is something wrong.  She is usually very upbeat.  She is usually smiles and “how are you doing?”.  Not this time.  She gets right to work.  She bombards me with questions:

Have you had any surgeries since I saw you last? – No….

Any major illnesses or accidents since I saw you last? —  I fell from my horse, does that count?

And on and on she goes.  Finally I ask what my results were.  Then she turns and looks me in the eyes and says “We need to talk about that, it isn’t good.”  My heart sinks.  My world stops.  Everything ends.  She goes on to tell me that my blood work had some oddities in it.  I am anemic which is odd for me.  Also the cancer trackers in my blood are elevated (which they never were even during my last bout with cancer).  Then we discuss the CT scan I had done three weeks ago.  There is a mass on the adrenal gland and/or lung.

Everything ends.  Tears slowly stream down my face.  It is back.  I have something again.  Somehow my body has failed me again.  I run through my brain as to how I am going to handle it this time.  This time I have no significant other.  This time I am single.  This time I am alone.  I am away from my family.  I have a new job.  I have no money saved up as cancer ate a lot of it last time.  I don’t know how I am going to do it this time.

We continue to discuss what the options are.  What we are going to do.  The next business day (tuesday) I will be getting a biopsy of the mass.  Friday I will get a PET scan of my whole body.  The following Tuesday I will meet with my doctor to talk about options.  So the outcomes as we see it right now rated rarest to worst

  1.  No mass is actually there and thus no cancer—-  this is like asking for the unicorn
  2. It is a new form of cancer which we will attack and take care of appropriately
  3. It is colon cancer that has now spread through my body and there is no cure.  I will need to manage it for the rest of my life.  –  This is the nightmare.

So while I hope #1 I know it is completely unreasonable, but hey I still hope a little.  #2 is the best/most realistic option.  and #3 is the nightmare.

There is a huge part of me that doesn’t want to fight any more.  There is a huge part of me that said I wouldn’t do chemo again.  That I didn’t want to go through abdominal surgery again.  I don’t have much fight left in me.  The last 2 some years have drained it all.

But at the end of the day I know one thing.  I will keep fighting.  I have no choice.  Kiddo needs her mom and I will do what I need so she doesn’t lose that.  I may be unhappy.  I may be furious.  I may be debating changing my name to Job.  But I will keep taking steps forward.  I will keep trying.  I won’t be happy about it.  But …. well it is what I have to do.  Liking it has nothing to do about it.

Tree defies logic
If this tree can defy logic, here’s to the rest of us doing the same.

The Fear Of Falling

Last lesson stunk.  Tristan was annoyed with me.  I was annoyed with me.  I think my trainer was frustrated with me.  It just wasn’t a good lesson.

I think Kiddo’s fall a few weeks back shook me up.  The realization of the pending fall scares me.  I haven’t had my first fall and I know it is coming.  It is a fact that it will eventually happen the more you ride horses.  You will fall.  However, my fear of it is actually making the looming action more and more likely.

I jump at every little thing.  When Kiddo’s horse (Calli) spooked, and consequently caused Tristan to spook with me on his back, I squealed in fear.  Which of course that made Tristan spook even more.

Kiddo kissing Calli
Kiddo kissing Calli
Kiddo and Calli
Kiddo and Calli

My fear is making things worse.

But how many times is life like that?  Fear amplifying that which we have no control over.  Fear of things that haven’t yet occurred and might not.  Far making things 100x worse then they need to be.  Life is going to be falls and bruises.  Life is a bunch of unpredictable events.  Even when things in life seem to show patterns, nothing is guaranteed.  And all the fear does, is show us what could be the worst case scenario.  Fear causes failure before it even happens.  Fear shows us what we most hope never happens and makes it a reality, when it might not be.

The funny thing, or maybe ironic thing, is back when I was on chemo treatments, Tristan tripped.  At the time I thought “I am going over his head.  This is it.  I am going to fall.”  But there wasn’t any fear, it was all matter-of-fact.  I need to get back there.

So hopefully today’s lesson will happen, even with the extreme cold.  And hopefully I will get back up on Tristan and will enjoy every single moment, with no fear!

Tristan

Hypocrite I am

I am such a hypocrite.

On Friday at my Kiddo’s riding lesson she fell off her horse.  It was the first time it had happened to her.  See me dashing over to her, seeing that everything is okay.  Then I start encouraging her to get back on the horse.  As the old adage goes, get back on the horse.  I bribed her, I encouraged her, I did everything I could to get her tush up in that saddle.

The adage is true, at least with horseback riding, that if you do not get right up in that saddle, the likelihood is much less that you will ever do it.

She did get back up that saddle and even rode up to a trot.  I was so very proud of her!  The instructor then stated that a person isn’t considered a horseback rider till they have fallen off the horse 5 times.

So here I am, proud that my little girl got back up in the saddle, while a few days ago I was having an emotional temper tantrum that I didn’t want to be back on my theoretical horse Optimism.

I wanted to sit here wallowing in the dirt crying that I am scared and dreading the future.  I wanted to be coddled and told it was okay.  My horse Optimism seemed so high and so scary to fall off again.

But life is falling and getting back up.  And the adage is right, the longer you take to get back up in that saddle, the less likely you are.  Fear and pessimism take hold and do not want to let go.

I am still climbing up into the saddle.  But at least I am not on the ground any more!

 

5655

Giddy Up Horsey

So I have fallen off the horse of optimism.  Yesterday saw me running the other way.

Yesterday I met with my GI doctor.  She is this sweet, happy lady that is about my age.  She looks at me and goes “So you have had an eventful year.  We are still wondering why someone your age is in this predicament.”  I just shrug and go “I know, right?”

I was meeting with her to schedule my next colonoscopy.  This is the one where we find out if everything is clean and happy.  We get to find out if all the work from the past year has done its job.  This is the one where we get to find out if I have to go through it again.

It is a daunting concept to know that a procedure in two weeks could change everything.  I am scared. I am scared of being taken into the little room where they tell the bad news.  I am scared of what might result from the potential bad news.  I couldn’t sleep last night I was so scared.

But I am scared and planning for stuff that might not happen.  As I was kindly reminded last night, I am paying interest on something that hasn’t and probably won’t happen.  My brain is fretting over things completely out of my control.  I am stressing over things that might not even  happen.  So how do I stop it?

Cognitive Behavior Therapy or CBT for short is one of my most useful tools.  It includes meditation, isolating emotions and calling an Ace and Ace.  Admitting what is out of my control and letting it go.  Admitting which items of stress are future events that haven’t even occurred and letting them go.  Acknowledging that this stinks and move on.  And when I admit all of the above, hand it over to God and get back to the daily living. Get back on that horse and ride through my day-to-day life while letting the future be the future.

So while the next two weeks are probably going to be tough, I will get through them.  Hopefully I will be able to type about all the good news I get.  And until then…

Giddy Up Horsey.

imagesCARSAR43

Fear is a Fart in the Wind

Perhaps I am turning a new leaf.  Perhaps I am starting to adapt to the world as it actually is, vs how it was before.  Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps.

The down days are getting less and farther apart.  The optimism is starting to return.  I look at my life and see so much  I want to change.  My attitude has not always been the best.  I have not taken advantage of opportunities that I had at my finger tips.  I have been allowing fear to prevent me from taking steps towards improving my life.

Life is so precious and in the past I have been treating it as something that was out of my control.  There was always an excuse as to why I didn’t do something.  There was always an excuse as to why I would stay in unhappy arrangements.  There was an excuse as to why I wouldn’t make my life better.

Now those excuses are like farts in the wind to me.  They hold no substance, they stink and are not worth the effort to maintain.  (Okay, I do not know how I would maintain a fart, but just go with it)

I have used these excuses to prevent taking risks where I had a chance of failing.  But no more.  Now I want to take those risks.

The first one I took, started a few weeks ago.  I am taking kiddo on vacation to Hawaii.  Before all this hit, I would have made excuses about not being able to afford it.  I would have convinced myself that something so grand was out of my reach.  And yes, financially it is a bit tight, but I do not care.  I feel no guilt about it.  She and I are going to go and have the time of our lives.  We are going to make memories that nothing can take away from us.  It is going to be a life changing event for her and I can not wait to see it happen.  I can’t wait to experience the trip myself.  I selfishly can’t wait to experience what I hear is one of the most beautiful places on the earth.

Weight is something else I look at changing.  The surgery created extra “flesh” where I do not want it.  I have always struggled with weight.  But now I hear my excuses as to not working on it and they again are drifting in the wind.  I am trying to periodically start a new improvement every couple of weeks. I am not doing the cold turkey, hard on the body, method.  I am going to slowly change my lifestyle.  My body has been through enough terrible things.  It doesn’t need me putting it through more torture.

And there are other areas I am trying to improve.  I am trying to make life into what it should be rather than what I have settled for.

There are things that I do not want to change.  I feel that my relationship with my daughter is a good one.  One that is open and honest.  Many may not agree with the methods I use with her but they work.  I am starting to see proof as to how my openness and honesty has worked with her. She is willing to talk to me about anything.  She isn’t afraid to come to me with problems or concerns.

Also I am blessed with my Knight.  He is a glowing star that is constant.  His wonderful nature makes me want to be better.  I can not express enough how much he means to me.  He is one of the greatest blessing that has come from the trials of the recent past.  And I can not thank him enough.

So I see my life as this huge picture.  One that has so many blank spots due to my past fears.  This fear is not going to prevent me from living a life that makes me and those I love most, happy.  I am excited to see where life goes.  I am excited to see what happens when the fear doesn’t run my life any more.   hawaii2