Now what?

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Box with scared people illustration, by Fritz Ahlefeldt-Laurvig on Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons

It’s so tempting to be relieved when you get good news. It carries you for a few days. Maybe a week if you let it be the excuse for a good party. You shove all the scared people in the box and put it in the closet for a while. (By the way, I’m really loving the work of this illustrator I discovered on Flickr.)

But it’s unsatisfying, ultimately. Don’t think for a second I’m ungrateful. Of course I’m grateful, for every second more I get to spend alive and reasonably healthy (although Young A’s metric for health these days is: Can you play tag now? If not, then you’re just not healthy enough for him, sorry).

I need to be able to celebrate good scan results for five years before I’m no longer going to be followed so closely. That’s a lot of scans and a lot of years. I will start taking my health for granted, and you will too. I won’t need to write a blog post after each good scan anymore. Or, I’ll get bad news and have to go down the rabbit hole again. All of this is so Magic Eight Ball.

There aren’t any guarantees. No one offers me a warranty anymore, or even a one-year lease. I might become one of those chronically sick people. I might have to settle for never being off medication, and I might have to accept the damage that being on medication has done to my former self-image (the one that still torments me and makes me feel unsatisfied with the small successes).

Sorry to make it sound like I’m riding on a bummer. The fact is, I’m not, really. Maybe this way of living is perfect for me, this inability to do long-range planning, because I’ve honestly never been good at that in the first place. I’m an optimist at heart (though a very cynical one) so maybe it’s time for me to read Candide or something. Get my mind off everything. Disappear into books, like I did as a child.

For now, I’ll just get out of my pajamas.

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2 thoughts on “Now what?

  1. You will keep writing in your blog about LIFE and LIVING. Cancer’s comings and goings are incidental. In life, there are no guarantees anyway whether one is healthy or not.

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