No surprise here folks - another hiatus from blog writing again for me. Not a word written or even a half hearted blog attempt since my cancerversary - the creative juices have dried up into a veritable desert. I am still stuck in this mental funk where I am unable to concentrate and am almost always numbing myself with some form of technology. I had to bring out the big guns and dig deep into the Spotify musical chest for some inspiration today and it came in the form of Ms Sarah Mclachlan. Oh the memories that her songs bring up for me...really really good heart warming ones. I am one of those very lucky people who can think back so fondly to my teenage years. I loved that time and had so much fun. So many special people that were present during that time are either geographical separated from me, have fallen out of touch and some are actually gone forever. But the memories aren't and these songs immediately take me back to Lillith Fair in Montreal, road trips to various friends cottages in the Laurentians or the end of summer week at Camp Nominingue. Music has always been a powerful tool to remember for me.
Well this little soldier is gearing up for battle next week when I will face off with the PET scanning machine again. How did that time go by so fast? I remember when my doctor and I decided to wait a little longer between scans to give me a break and it had seemed such a long time away back then. But now I am quite literally one week away from doing it all over again and really starting to worry. Subconsciously I react to an upcoming scan weeks beforehand without always realizing it. It starts with googling which I try not to do ever. I quickly type into the search engine "Life expectancy for TNBC Stage 3b regional relapse." The specificity of this sentence and the tiny group it includes always makes it difficult for me to get any real info back. And isn't the whole point of my doing this is to get some kind of concrete answer, some kind of fact that will provide me some comfort and relief. I always want the answer before the question has even been asked and this situation is no different. I know what is coming - the anxiety, the fear and the wait. If there is any way I can alleviate some of it through some "googling" i do even though I know i wont find the answer I am looking for. But when did googling ever really help anyone unless you are looking for pictures of cupcakes or spiders to show your curious five year old! But you know what sometimes when I start digging into the journal abstracts and tables of survival stats, I feel lucky. Lucky that I beat some pretty incredible odds but I can't forget that I am a long way from being able to stop worrying. I often wish I had a crystal ball to tell me what was coming but then again would it really help if you can't do anything about any of it? #deepthoughtsforafriday
I have been thinking a lot about this lately in terms of the whole BRCA issue and of course Angelina coming front and center regarding her decision to remove her ovaries, helped jog my memory of my killer lady genes. I wrote about the day she made mastectomies hip nearly two years ago and she goes and does it again, only this time with ovaries and menopause. Only Angelina could do that. To me there is nothing more unsexy then having to do all this crap. But it has got me thinking more about my daughter and what fate lies ahead of her. At the same time, it has also made me think about what my life would have been like had known that was I carrying this deadly gene. There is no denying that it would have had a huge effect on me, my decisions, the way I looked at myself and my body. Would I still be the same person I am today if I had known? I can't answer that but part of me feels that it would have influenced me in some way especially the decisions I made. Worrying about getting cancer because you actually know you will most certainly get it and feeling pressure to find a partner and have kids before it is all too late is intense for anyone let alone a young adult. It doesn't sound too great to me. No one likes having the power to decide taken away from them. So I worry for her and the struggles that lie ahead for her because of this. That day where I will have to open pandora's box and share my secret with her will come sooner then I like. And I don't think you will find "talking to your daughter about the brca gene" in many parenting books but it will be in mine. As a parent, you want your child to have the easiest and happiest way in life and knowing what is ahead (when most have no idea), places such a heavy burden and black cloud over things. She is only five now yet she can tell something is up and her inquisitive mind is asking questions about almost everything and anything these days. There will come a day soon when she will know what the word cancer means and that her mother had it...twice. She is already consumed by death lately and asks me questions daily about it and how it all works. How do you die? What happened to you pappa? Do people who die still need to eat food? How do we know where they go? Does it hurt? Tell me how every member of your family died? And on and on. We are very careful not to associate sickness with death because she is sharp and would very quickly connect the dots. Even last week when we briefly spoke about the time I was sick, she asked bluntly "Were you going to die?" To which I replied of course not. She then told me that she had been very scared during that time and didn't want to discuss it anymore because it made her sad to think about it. I had to hug her extra long that night. I have such a responsibility to control what information she gets and how she understands it in order to manage her fears. I don't want her growing up thinking that cancer equates death. What heavy things to have to think about now. I am in a way relieved my mother and I didn't have to tread through this tough road but of course I would have done anything to have had the chance to act before it all happened.
I think that there is no right way to do this and I have to trust that i will know what to do when the time comes just as I have through the rest of my challenges. And I will love her through it because that is the best thing I can do for her.
So for now I must focus on the right here, right now. Focus on what is coming up next week and believe it will all be okay for me. I made a promise to my little monkey that everything would be okay from now on. I believe that there is nothing there and that I will earn a third gold star on my post cancer check up list. That I will move closer and closer to a life without fear.
Seems fitting to end this blog with a thoughtful quote:
"It takes just one song to bring back a 1,000 memories."
Thanks to all of you for staring in mine.