I have an MRI next week. I have them once a year as a routine follow up. In six months, I’ll have my annual diagnostic mammogram. Welcome to Breast Cancer Land. When they aren’t loading you into a noisy, rattling tube, they are smashing your boobs while having you hold the rest of your body in positions reserved for the less commonly read sections of the Kama Sutra.

I actually don’t mind the actual procedures so much. It’s the worrying and waiting for results. I don’t want to do this! I have all kinds of fun things planned for October! So I find myself thinking, “Maybe I should just reschedule my MRI for AFTER I do my fun things. Then if I have a recurrence, it won’t spoil my fun.”

This is a ridiculous kind of thought. I mean I could reschedule for November but then it would be, “What if I have a recurrence? It will spoil Thanksgiving.” Then Christmas may be spoiled, etc.

The fact of the matter is that there is no good time to have cancer. Right before scans, I find myself scheduling patients with the thought, “Hmm, I wonder if I will be able to finish that report if I find out I have a recurrence?”

When I was diagnosed with cancer, I can’t say that my life came to a screeching halt, because it didn’t. But major changes and upheaval occurred in order for me to get the assessments and treatments I needed. On the day I was diagnosed, it was a work at home day and I ended up cancelling two phone consultations with other healthcare providers. I worked on my reports the next day. It was a three day weekend and we were expecting my father-in-law to come stay with us. It was actually nice to have him there. He gave us a lot of support.

My life will stop when I die. A cancer diagnosis didn’t make it stop. I can’t juggle my schedule around the possibility that I will be worried and stressed. I am a planner but this is not one of the things to plan for, at least in the short term. I mean, I do think about the long-term. That’s why I exercise regularly, try to eat well, meditate, and go to psychotherapy. I am taking care of myself for the long term. I am preparing for the possibility of  a long life. And those things I do for the long term, make me feel better right now.

This is my gratitude week. I had an idea in mind when I planned this but I have not quite followed it. Instead, I have gone according to what I wanted or needed each day. Today, I feel like I want to do something different with my anxiety.

I trust myself to do what I need to do if my cancer has returned.
I appreciate and feel deep gratitude to my friends and family for holding my health in their warm wishes and prayers.
I appreciate my access to excellent cancer treatment.
I am grateful that although my breast cancer surgeon has retired, that there are a number of excellent remaining surgeons at my cancer center.
I appreciate my healthcare insurance.
I am grateful to my husband because I know he will drop everything and come to my MRI appointment next week if I ask him to do so.
I appreciate my daughter’s resilience in the face of my health problems and her tenacity in life.

I love living.
I am alive until I am not.
I will do my best to live accordingly.