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Yearly Cancer Test Taunts My Soul

Sometimes you have to grow even in the worst conditions:

I like this picture a lot. I think all of us can relate to those moments when we feel like we are trying to take root in the hardest of ground or the most difficult of places.

Cancer is not something I think about very often. When diagnosed in 2010 I thought I’d worry about it coming back more than I do.

Stuck doing this every year:

But once a year my soul is taunted when my annual blood test is scheduled. A week or so before the day my thoughts are tempted to think about the “What Ifs” and a little part of me is on full alert for depression and other accompanying behaviors.

Thursday is my day to be tested. I know people who just stop going back for the test because they don’t want to be reminded. I can’t do that. Something in me needs to know that I’m still in the clear.

The Journey is doable but not easy:

This time of year it doesn’t take much to put me over the edge. I feel like I'm walking up a hill, with a cliff on the side and I must keep looking up and straight ahead as not to be distracted.

Little things become bigger and the dull aching fear that swirls around inside your head is uncontrollable. Sometimes the only relief is to just cry.

Cancer is not a well traveled path. There's no one to tell you how to do it well:

Yesterday I was fine but today things aren’t go as well and to be honest keeping my head up and in the game is not easy.

So I have to find things to remind myself that up is just over my head a bit. Old patterns must be broken to make way for renewal.

Online the other day a new friend posted this in a blog. As the test gets closer his words mean even more to my soul.

"The journey, it's not so much about becoming anything new. It's about unbecoming everything in life that's not me, letting it go, starting over, and allowing me to be everything I need to be. Me."

Benjamin Elliott

Cancer tries to rob us of who we are and in some ways this time of year is a reminder of what it did take from me.

I am not the same person I was pre-cancer. There is a side of me that fears more than I used to.

Sometimes you have to dig deep into your rocky surface to find strength and courage:

As I prepare to be stuck with a needle and watch the blood pour into the syringe I must remind myself the outcome of this test is already determined. I have to keep my head in the game and off the distractions. It is so much easier said than done.

I try to stay up beat about the bad stuff and most of the time I can and do. But there are times when I don’t mind being weak. Perhaps I do mind but have little in the way of emotional energy to fight it.

I keep hearing the words: “This too will pass” but the feelings are not keeping up…..I know they will.

Cancer is a gift but on days and weeks like this the cost of cancer is evident.

I can’t go back and most of the time wouldn’t give up what I’ve learned from the experience. But today, if I’m honest I wish it had never happened.

Rick

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