"I don't have to see you for a full year....get out."
Those were the words of my oncology surgeon. I am now moved from 6 month scans to waiting a full year.
Like most survivors, I am not sure how I feel about this. It is the best of times and, can be, the worst of times - in my head.
The checkpoint was comforting. Who, today, has a team of doctors that poke and prod to be sure they are on top of any circumstance?
Call it a safety net.
Now it's a whole year.
I know - this is a good thing. In May, it will be 5 years from my last bout. I am doing what I can so that I can make it 50 more years.
Still, I can't afford taking anything for granted. It's another year of battling weight gain, ditching sugar, running, gyms, aches...
Waking up every night for no reason.
Shooting pains on strained muscles...pulls, twitches, sprained fingers...all of it.
Just thinking on it makes me tired. And, yes, there are days I am oh so tired.
Is it worth it? Ask in 40-50 years. I hope to tell you yes.
Don't let anyone, me included, fool you - it is hard.
I am a creator. A writer. Though I have few channels for my creativity, I still push off using them. I want to sit, sleep, think, sleep more. I think they call this depression. It's a constant battle. Stay still and sip on time. No more big gulps.
Don't worry, I always win, but the days get long and the nights grow shorter and shorter. Thinking is more tiring then running for me.
The mind never stops. And I hope that it never will. The only constant is turmoil.
It has been misdiagnosed as ADD at times. Paying attention is not my strong suit. Focus is a struggle. I want to tell them it isn't that I don't find what they say interesting. It's that I have full conversations colliding in my head. Dialogues that never end. Scenes of real life that never cease. I have learned to nod....a lot.
Now how do I get stronger when men my age prefer a beer and a larger belt? How do I get leaner, and yes, maybe meaner? How do I fend off cancer?
I don't find other bits of life trivial. Then again, yes I do. Stress needs to be mitigated but sometimes stress keeps me going as well. The job has to pay the bills, the job be damned.
Moving forward and always looking back over my shoulder.
What have I missed? What was stolen? Can I get it back? Can't I have another hack at life?
I think I can.
Can I remake myself?
I think I can.
Hard. So very hard for me to do so. Someone do it for me. Please?
I once wrote a story in 5th grade about a soldier in a war. The line I put down that caught the teacher's attention was, "I kill to survive, and survive to be killed."
So much to think about.
Looks like I have another year to do so.