Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Every Three Months

Speaking of routine: my husband's Sunday morning pancake extravaganza. This week: buckwheat-cornmeal cakes with almond butter, plain yogurt, bananas, and strawberries. Oh yeah, and maple syrup. This is the plate he made up for himself. He kindly paused mid-meal for the photo shoot. Speaking of pancakes, check this out.

Today's the day. My second of who knows how many years worth of every-three-month check-ins with my oncologist for a thorough once-over and a blood test. Three months goes by fast. I get the feeling I'm going to be hating this ritual before long.

My back has been sore lately. I'm trying to shake that irrational fear that it means cancer in my bones. I say irrational because all the evidence stacks up against that being the case. If it was cancer, I don't think it would have started to hurt so suddenly after running a half-marathon, my second in two weeks. Or rather, after running and then sitting in an extreme slouch, feet on the dash, in the car for half an hour. If it was cancer, I don't think it would have improved gradually over the past few weeks. I don't think I would leave the chiropractor feeling better each time.

But panic is what panic is - oblivious to rational persuasion. Once you've been scared for your life out of the blue, it's easy to revisit that feeling.

Yesterday I admitted to a friend that I'm scared and she talked about Buddhism. About being in the present. Good advice. However, I did not receive it well. Deep down, for me, it is embarrassing to admit that I have this fear. Advice, no matter how well-meaning, makes me wish I hadn't mentioned it. It makes me feel alone. Advice is tricky like that. And I can be a prickly bastard. Ah, well, we're all human. Right?


Flying Yogini said...

not admiting you have fear is WAY scarier if you ask me. is there a reason why you shouldn't feel scared? seriously, you've had a whopper of a diagnosis, treatment and now the other end. I think if you didn't feel a little scared every three months I'd wonder if the treatment affected your brain. You are human.. we have fear. embrace it as part of the process. xo

Lisa said...

Advice is definitely funny. I'm guilty of wanting to provide it (solicited or not) and it's only because I care so much about the person. I do recognize though, that it can create a negative result - so I try to provide more listening these days than talking.

Thanks for the reminder on this. And I hope you just have an achey back because of the slouching :)

Paula said...

In mindfulness, we talk about sitting with discomfort, perhaps the discomfort that we're mortal and have been reminded of it in the harshest possible way short of death.

You suffered a major trauma, and it's not unlike the post-traumatic stress disorder experienced when someone returns from a war zone.

I'm not adding advice, but MBSR (Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction) was a great experience for me and helped me find ways to sit with discomfort more, instead of longing to push it away or live in a sort of denial.

Congrats, too, on another half-marathon!

Jo said...

You are an inspiration to me, as I read your posts I feel normal when I have similar fears. I also have BC, and currently fighting stage 4! Thank you for blogging your honest feelings..it really helps!! You are amazing!

Anonymous said...

Two half thons in two weeks?? I'm surprised that it's *only* your back that's hurting! (lol) My back gets sore if I'm doing a lot of speed work or hill work--I'm guessing both may be involved in your training. Anyway, hope all is okay. It is 110% understandable that you would be hair triggered by *anything* physical given what you have been through--PTSD for sure--how could you not have this? It will take a lot of experiences of having physical symptoms and being okay to calm this reaction down so it's not so intense but it may be something that you get better living with vs. "cure." I have suffered from PTSD from other stuff and it's crippling but does improve tremendously as you work on it. Big hugs from California. -Sue-

Pterophyta said...

Amy, I have lower back pain too (for 2 weeks now) and believe, after research, that it is the Tamoxifen...it can do that as a SE.

And it is ok to walk through fears and give them voice so they can either be researched, discussed, or swept away, whichever is the appropriate action at the time.