Tuesday, July 29, 2014

I'm anxious as hell...oh yeah...scans coming up

I'm sitting here eating ice cream with crushed Oreo's, trying to check out with my cheesy Bachelorette show (yes, I'm admitting it...something I can watch and not really pay attention to) and attempting very hard to ignore this agonizing gut twisting feeling in my gut.  And I've been trying all day to figure out what's going on.  It's the difficult to catch my breath....kind of like every time something anxiety producing comes up.  Then I figure it out.  Crap, we have scans coming up in about 2 weeks.  It's been 3 1/2 months since our last scans.  For the last year, we would have known by now that Gabriella was still cancer free.  Every 3 months since treatment ended, we would go through our week (or longer) of "scanxiety", which ended up getting shorter and shorter as we got further away from the end of treatment.  The day before was often the worst even though we had the best hopes that everything was clear.  Just taking her through the process is mentally exhausting.  Then the moments before the doctor came in the exam room as we waited with bated breath....waited to hear those three words....just three words that could destroy us or exhilarate us..... until the words left the doctors mouth, "scans are normal".  Then the sighs of relief and the feeling we could start living again.

Protocol for follow up tests after cancer treatment says that Gabriella needed scans every 3 months for the first year.   This was the highest likelihood of a recurrence....this year and the 2nd year, which we are in.  For the next two years, scans are now taken ever 4 months...not 3.  This is the first time we have gone this long without scans.  I haven't felt this way in a while...anxious...short of breath.  Once you've been trough a routine, a routine from hell, you start to know what to expect.  At least what you want to expect.  My mind is expecting the reassurance of our 3 month "clear" scans and I don't have it.

This summer has been amazing.  I have seen my girls grow up in so many ways in just a few months. We've gone on a few amazing trips and they've been delightful.  No doubt we've had our moments...the normal parenting moments...but I wouldn't change it for anything.  It's been normal.  It's been better than normal.  I don't want to miss a moment.
Gabriella with her buddy Campbell.

I have a picture of the girls on my computer screen.  I make sure to keep it manageable, making sure the things I have going on (aka..the files that pile up on my desktop) don't cover their adorable faces. Once these "things" start creeping in, I have to reassess, clean up and prioritize again...making sure I still see all of them.   This is how I manage my life with my girls, my family, my life around the organization, work, the events, and all that's going on.  I make sure it's doable and when I can see their little faces starting back at me, I'm reminded why I'm here...why I'm doing all of this in the first place.

Today was an especially overwhelming day.  G has been in the Little Guard program at Capitola beach and we are having a fantastic time.  It's bringing me back to my childhood and the nervousness I had before our water excursions.  I had to drop her off right in front of the beach entrance because there wasn't enough time to park.  She got her big blue bag (my old marathon bag that she could actually fit in) and lugged it over her shoulder.  She had her little pig tails, her blue Tola shirt and sweat pants on as she made her way to the beach.  I stood right outside the car and watched my little warrior stroll down to the beach...just like a big girl and it took my breath away.  My big girl.  She's been through so much and here she is.  Just a little peanut among the big kids; full of confidence and hesitation at the same time.  I wish I had a picture of it...but it's something that will be forever engrained in my memory.   I shared this with a friend about it later that morning and I could feel my eyes well up...with pride and gratitude.  

I hope we always have moments like these.  

1 comment:

  1. I'm new to your reading your blog. I love the way you honestly describe the "scanxiety" While that isn't what we live with we have other similar situations and it's nice to be able to relate a bit. Hoping that soon you hear those three words you want to hear.