Thursday, March 3, 2011

Owning Anticipation, Owning Fear, Owning Scared

Yesterday I had my first PET Scan since my diagnosis. I decided to take out my nerves at the gym and stomp all over Cancer's face. I ran 4 miles, biked another 8, lifted some weights, and came home feeling strong.

The next morning I decided to get decked out for my Pet scan. See exhibit A.

Throughout this whole process I have found strength in dressing up and putting on a bright colored lipstick. Every time I go to 21, the nurses always say "  Guuurl you are looking good! You don't look sick. You certainly had me fooled." Somehow by looking good I feel that I am able to trick my mind into feeling good.  For those of you that know me well, you are well aware that I have always loved dressing up.  Being able to do this while fighting Cancer, allows me to reconnect with my former self- and remind myself that I am still here, I am still present, I am bursting at the seams- ready to be let out!  This is also just one more opportunity to give that nasty bitch Cancer,  the finger!

At my appointment, rocking my spring look, I started to become very quiet, and realized I was here. This dreaded day had arrived. As I was injected with radioactive dye, my mind wandered to the warm and inviting places I have trained myself to go to. I remembered how Becky Strauss, my meditative guru, taught me how to breath in for five, and exhale for six seconds, allowing my mind and body to relax. I then remembered Ethan telling me that scary thoughts are ok, and that I should acknowledge them and transport myself to a time when I could feel and taste happiness. So there I was lying on the scanner, visualizing dancing at Penny's wedding in Greece-  in flip flops, feeling the sun hit my neck, my shoulders, and then my face.  I could taste the salt on my lips, I could feel the soreness of my muscles from dancing all night, and I could really feel the bliss that I felt in watching her dance with her Husband George.This is one of my favorite memories of all time.

Arms overhead, breathing deep, and dancing in Greece, I eventually succumbed to sleep.  

Returning to work after my peaceful nap proved to be difficult. My fears started to sink in. 

What if my Cancer hasn't shrunk?
What if my Cancer has spread?
If my Cancer has spread - how bad is it? And I hate to ask- what are my odds?
At what point will they decide on alternative course of treatment?
If the tumors haven't shrunk will I be starting another type of chemo? Does this mean that my 2 rounds of hell will be for naught?
Will I be given radiation? 
Will I have to undergo a Stem Cell Transplant?
Can I really handle living for at least a month at Prentice Hospital?

I hate what ifs. Note to self- control what ifs.
I can't do anything about what ifs. 

So what can I do while I wait in anticipation?

1. I can picture my body without Cancer.
2. I can picture my life without Cancer
3. I can remind myself that even if I don't get the results I am hoping for, I am strong today, but not as strong as I will be tomorrow.
4.  I have already done a lot of work on myself, and this work will help as I continue on in this battle.
5. My body knows how to heal, and it will heal.

It's ok to be scared. Saying it is somehow making me feel better. I am owning my fears this morning- whispering them, saying them, shouting them.

If I wasn't scared there would be something seriously wrong.

So today, I am owning anticipation, owning fear, and owning scared.

As I wait here today for my results, and I get cozy with the all to familiar holding pattern, I ask those of you that are invested in my journey, to pray hard, to cheer loudly, to dance your ass off, and to scream for me today.

I am forever grateful for you.


  1. great post jenna - stay strong

  2. Beautiful post from a beautiful woman. My thoughts, heart, and prayers are you with you!! "...Bless those in need of healing with r’fu-a sh’lei-ma, The renewal of body, the renewal of spirit...