My journey over the cancer seas and beyond.

I awoke. Same bed, same room. The very same one I awoke in with panic attacks as the memory of hearing the cancer diagnosis flooded into my consciousness. The same room I woke in with numb terror preparing for my mastectomy. The same room I was in floods of tears before going to radiotherapy. And the room whose walls eased the seismic shaking that gripped me before, during and after the chemo storms. Same room another day. I awake in this room in the lost land between Christmas and New Year, that unformed week of blurring days and I am clear. I am clear in my focus, clear in my direction, and my MRI scan was clear. There is no visible cancer to be found in my chest area.

That was last Thursday.

This Thursday I am wondering if I jumped the proverbial gun. I had an unexpected call from the X-ray department, they require my attendance for a full body CT scan next week. I spent hours getting to the bottom of it all and it seems that it is a normal part of my follow up, given the grade of the cancer I navigated. I use the word navigate purposefully in this context. It speaks of the skill necessary to traverse new and treacherous waters without either claiming the cancer as ‘mine’ or as a thing to fight against.

This scan will reveal if there is a story in the rest of my body. Perhaps I should have waited to share the good news from the MRI scan. Perhaps I was too quick off the mark. Perhaps, though I doubt I would react any differently. It is a natural response to good news such as a clear scan, to want to shout it out to the world. It is also a natural response to feel wobbled in knowing more scans are pending. What makes the difference is my ability to find balance irrespective of the news this CT may bring. I am still me, still full of life, burning with a desire to bring my flavour of joy to this world. And I have done the best I can in all areas.

The ports of the scan towns sit along the ocean path of this cancer journey. And I am only now understanding their punctuation of what I have traversed, and what may be to come. Each landing is a risk. A stripping down, a clearing and an opportunity to regroup. The oncology team is here to guide me ashore and hold me up as best they can throughout. I laugh as I acknowledge that some tests require no revision. There is only a requirement for a lifelong commitment to continue showing up and making port for these particular tests. So here I am in yet another dry dock, awaiting the highest accolade of an all clear for the whole of my body. The ocean of my life calls to me and I can feel you all here with me.

I am optimistic and yet reserved.

Journeying through cancer lands and life beyond