Life of Joy

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Love the Ones You're With!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Reflecting on the Past Year and Now

First off, as I re-read my second post on my blog about getting "the call" I realize how upset I sounded with the Dr.'s office who would not respond to my many phone calls as to what my first tests actually showed. When I finally had my appointment with Dr. Kahn on that following Tuesday, she shared with me that a mass had indeed been seen and it could be ovarian cancer. Given my age and being postmenopausal, it was planned that my ovaries would be removed regardless of the cancer staging so the next order of business was to find a Dr. get a surgery date. Dr. Kahn apologized for my unreturned phone calls and basically gave me some instructions for how to get through directly to her, especially as I go through these next few weeks. She also stated that she never gives this kind of news to her patients over the phone. As hard as it was for me to wait through the week end, I respect her policy and have laid to rest my upset feelings over trying to get someone to talk to me.

Secondly, I am now 1 year, 2 days past the anniversary of my operation which removed my ovaries, fallopian tubes, omemtum, lynphnodes, cervix, and maybe a few other things I don't remember (what else is there?). My cancer marker blood tests have stayed very low for about 9 months and 6 months since chemo ended. I thought I was so looking forward to putting this cancer chapter behind me and allowing my life to get back to normal. Although I very much enjoy any experience that feels "normal" to me, I am starting to come to terms with "normal" having a little different slant since my diagnosis last summer. I believe firmly that I need to embrace all the good days that I have, that I need to count my blessings, friends, family, ability to work and contribute to a better world. At the same time, to say that I do not worry about a recurrence ever, would not be honest. Thankfully, I did some reading in "Coping with Cancer" last evening and it really did help me be more honest about accepting my feelings and at times, my fears, while still trying to be focused in a positive way. I found a quote that I will use for my mantra "Optimism is a form of courage." I choose to be optimistic about my future, but I am not blind to the possibilities. When anxiety gets the better of me, I hope to use yoga and meditation to get myself more centered.

Well, I said that this blog was going to be about the small things in life that give me pleasure, and this entry does not sound like I am going in that direction. There were some thoughts that I felt needed articulating and now I have done that. Cancer does not define me, but living with its aftermath, is my life and there is no denying that. That said, Life is Good, and I look forward to many more years of adventures!


Mary Perry said...

I agree, Life is good, and hope to share some of those adventures, right beside you.

Cheri said...

Joellyn, I like your attitude, admire your spirit, and am glad you posted about your worries. I think we all feel worried at one time or another (though most of our worries aren't as big and scary as cancer) and it's very normal. Congrats on making it through your first year post-diagnosis, and I'll hope for many many many more good and happy years for you!!:)