For most of my time with cancer, I lived my life in short increments. There was the chemo block of time, then the mastectomy surgery block of time, the short and sweet month of remission, and then the whole second bout. When I finished that round of treatment, it was on to the quarterly PET scans, and given my history, I am always prepared for bad news at each three month interval. I scheduled my knee surgery at the midpoint between scans so that if my March scan isn’t good, then I would be healed up enough to go back into treatment.
And in life, breaking out of living life in three month increments has been hard. Quite honestly, I do think about long term things like school being out in June or about next Christmas or about going to next January’s knitting retreat, but the reality is that I have made no concrete plans that commit me to anything beyond my next scan.
It’s time to break out of this. A few weeks ago, I was one of several applicants for a volunteer job that would involve a 4 year term. When I wasn’t selected, my sadness shocked me. I finally realized that a lot of the feeling was less to do with not being chosen and a lot to do with failing to have something that reaffirmed my commitment to being here long term. I’ve bounced back and folks have suggested some more opportunities for me that I will pursue, but it’s raised my old morbid fascination with data and statistics and life expectancy and prognosis. Cancer may be out of my body but it’s not out of my head.
But I am determined to push through this, and I will find something that breaks me out of the cycle and fills my calendar. Because I do plan on being here forever!