The 18 Month Mark

IMG_3236Yesterday was a day of seroma aspiration followed by mammogram followed by ultrasound.  It was 18 months to the day after my breast cancer diagnosis and a check-up to see if everything is okay.

And everything IS okay, I’m very happy to say!

According to my doctors, the first two years after a cancer diagnosis have the highest likelihood for recurrence.  So being six months closer to that mark is a happy time for me.

IMG_3234My surgeon and I decided that I’d have the seroma aspirated right before the mammogram so that the tech could get a good picture (with no sermoa obstruction).  I had the mammogram on both breasts, and since I still have cysts (which I’ve had for years), the radiologist opted for an ultrasound, too, just to be sure what looked like cysts are indeed cysts.  Which they are.  Mammogram and ultrasound showed nothing malignant.

Six months ago, I was so nervous, very anxious before my mammogram.  It was my first since I completed treatments.  This time, though, I was much calmer.  My intuition is very accurate, but sometimes my untrusting brain can conjure up fearful images, and they take over my psyche.

This time, though, I trusted my feeling that I have no cancer, that it’s not coming back.  At least not now and not soon.

IMG_3237

Ultrasound table

Down the road, who knows?  I hear so many stories of people’s being diagnosed with cancer, seemingly in growing numbers.  What’s causing that?  Is it our food, our environment, our lifestyles?  I read all sorts of theories, but I don’t have an answer.  I just know I’m not guaranteed to be cancer-free for the rest of my life.

Along with trusting my intuition, I’m learning to be more present, more in the moment instead of indulging myself in a scarefest in my mind, an unwinding horror story of all that could go wrong.  I’ve been one of those folks who goes into worst-case scenario much too often and easily.

I’m breaking myself of that habit.  Because, through this cancer journey, I’ve learned that even if it’s bad, I can handle (or tolerate) it.  And that bad usually isn’t as bad as I anticipated.  I’ve discovered that I’m stronger and more adaptable than I guessed.

And that’s good to know.

IMG_3220I saw this sign on a truck at the battlefield on Sunday when I parked before my walk.  I read it as two words:  I AM.

I read it as a reminder to be in the present.  I also see it as God’s “name.”  That’s how God speaks to Moses in Exodus.  God says, “I AM that I AM,” telling Moses in whose or in what presence he is.   And Jesus has a series of I AM statements scattered through the Gospel of John.

I think both uses are reminders that now is what matters.  I AM.  Not I WAS or I WILL BE.

I AM.

And so I try to be, at each moment, one at a time.  Because wisdom tells me that being, that now, is holy and sacred.

There was a bluebird on the closest tree on the left.  I can't find it.  Can you?

There was a bluebird on the closest tree on the left. I can’t find it. Can you?

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2 thoughts on “The 18 Month Mark

  1. I love this post! So happy for you and this great news. Thank you for being such an inspiration and being so positive. I am learning from you with Colt’s journey and trying to remain in the present as you have taught us, your readers. Thank you again.

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