Same Words Different Meanings…
We use words to express how we feel all the time. When on a cancer journey, the words take on different meanings. I realized recently the words that sound identical, but spelled differently, fit with some of the feelings I’ve been having lately.
We are all waiting on something, and on a cancer journey, for me the wait will be a weight on my mind. Isn’t it crazy how different wait and weight are, but at times, they can both describe how you feel? I thought about these two words as I was waiting for my results of my recent CA125 blood test, followed by my check up and pelvic exam. I always start to get very anxious the couple weeks before my test until my check-up. The wait of the unknown is just one of the things that get to me. I know, I haven’t had a bad check up yet, but there is so much weight in the wait. I start to imagine that every little twinge I feel, that my cancer has returned. It can be the littlest thing and it sends my mind reeling.
Which brings me to Reel and Real. It’s so hard to differentiate between the two. It all seems so real to me. One of the hardest things with Ovarian Cancer is the vague symptoms. The scary thing for me is that I didn’t know I had it before, so how will I know when it returns? My providers have reassured me that since my CA125 was elevated with my original diagnosis, it “should” become elevated again when it returns. But the “should” gives me the reel feeling. Those couple weeks leading up to my 3-month check-up make me feel like there are holes in my safety net. Even though I’m still taking the “chemo type” pill daily that helps as a “band-aid” for reoccurrence for my type of Ovarian Cancer, I begin to doubt that it is real or still making an impact. My mind can make the smallest symptom believable. Thus, begins the battle of is it real or imagined or actually just “normal”.
If I say it aloud it is allowed? Saying things aloud helps me feel like I’m allowed to have the anxiety that comes with this Journey. It brings more people into the awareness of where I’m at in this remission ride. Sharing my fears feels like letting air out of a balloon. I get all blown up and tight with worry and when I tell people how I’m struggling it is like popping the balloon with a pin. For me, once I face the fear aloud it loses so much of its power.
I wish I could step hard on the brake and take a break. But you can’t, you need to be vigilante and keep tabs on Ovarian Cancer. Staying ahead of the game is the best option for now. I’m a continued “work in progress” trying to do the best things for my body. Mindset, exercise, healthy eating, less stress, all go hand and hand in the battle. But there are days that is hard too. The key is to not let everything overwhelm and break you. Put on the brakes and do something out of the ordinary just to mix it up. Try a new yoga class, read a book that is out of your norm, make a list of what you are grateful for. These are simple things, but can give your outlook a boost.
Sometimes the right way can weigh just as much on your mind. Does one ever know? Everyone has questions on what is right or wrong. We just need to trust in God and put one foot in front of the other. Try your best today. If it doesn’t work, tomorrow is always a do over. There is always another way, we don’t always see that until something we try doesn’t work.
I know that life is so much more than just a sum of a CA125 and what really matters are the Some of people. Each day the connections you make with family and friends are so much more important than a pending test result.
For now, what helps the most is to get it off your chest with a little bit of whine to someone who will listen, and maybe a glass or two of wine when needed 😊.