At a recent party, I spent most of my time fending off feelings of deep jealousy toward two breast cancer survivors who were there. This, of course, was ridiculous. No one should harbor envy toward cancer survivors. Each laugh I caught them having out of the corner of my eye made me desperately wish I could switch places with them right then. I wanted what they had - no evidence of cancer left in their bodies. It's removal left them scarred both physically and emotionally, but it was out now. I'm sure the scepter of its return hangs over their heads, but with each day, they get to move further and further away from when they had cancer.
I wanted to be so lucky - to know I no longer hosted malignant cells and I could just put this whole "cancer journey" behind me. Instead, it feels like each day brings me closer to the next step in mine. The results from my recent scan showed more growth of my lymph nodes, and I meet the clinical requirements for re-treatment. I could start treatment now, but my doctor felt there wasn't any risk of waiting until after the summer since it's growth continues to be slow. For a host of practical reasons and some emotional ones, I'm going to wait. It also gives me some time to get physically stronger and maybe gain a few more pounds (why yes, I'd like two scoops of ice cream!) before getting back in the infusion chair.
In yoga this week, while holding an awkward forearm plank with one hand pressed into the ground, our yoga teacher told us to "embrace the discomfort. That is where our strength lies." It's a good mantra for living with this disease. It is uncomfortable knowing that I'm growing cancer every day. It's uncomfortable knowing I'll be back in treatment in a few months and I'll lose a month or two recovering. It's comfortable knowing there will be more treatments in my future after this one. It's uncomfortable knowing this will never be behind me.