One of the feelings I really dislike about this whole ordeal is feeling out of control. It’s so nerve-racking to think that a lot of the time your well-being lies in the hands of people other than yourself: oncologists, chemo nurses. Don’t get me wrong I absolutely love my oncologist and most of the chemo nurses, but it definitely takes time to get used to trusting them.
When I have a concern (which unfortunately is often because of my hyper-awareness of myself and anxiety) my oncologist is always very reassuring. It took me a while to trust his opinion though. When he would assure me that everything was fine and going well or that something didn’t “feel like cancer” all I could think about was going to the doctor’s a year ago and having them tell me the same thing (only then it WAS cancer). It’s hard to trust after something like that. Over time I’ve gotten better with it. Sometimes I recognize when I’m just being irrational, but other times I think to myself; it’s normal for things to come up and be nervous about them, just try not to let it ruin your day or week.
Another thing that is out of my control is this disease. Right now everything looks good. I’ve had two clean pet scans and at this point I’m tolerating the chemo well. A month after my last treatment I will be getting a pet/cat scan which is even more accurate just to make sure everything is still good. My oncologist is very confident that this will be clean too and that I’ll be able to move on from all of this and go back to normal life. As exciting as being through with chemo is, I’m a little nervous about the end. Some what ifs pop into my head about the chemo keeping this whole thing in remission and that without it the cancer could come back - which is true, but not likely. It’s helpful that my oncologist is so positive and feels really good about everything. In one of my last posts I mentioned that I was mostly nervous about ending treatment and a little bit excited. I’m proud to say that the tables are beginning to turn and I’m feeling more excited each day and a little less nervous.
Today I had my 9th round of chemo which puts a little bit of a damper on things. As much as I know it’s a good thing that I’ve got another round under my belt it’s still saddening that until Sunday I won’t feel like me. Logically I know this is a very good thing, my 9th round - done, but emotionally it’s still hard to accept that the next 5 days will be difficult.
What IS In My Control
Improving my diet: I’ve read in some books that greens and other vegetables are cancer-fighting and extremely good for you in general. I’ve been making an effort to drink green smoothies (not as much lately as I’d like) and I’ve also found an organic restaurant near by that includes lots of greens and veggies in all of their dishes! It’s a great option for me because I love going out to eat and at this place there’s absolutely nothing to feel guilty about!
Doing excercises to deal with my anxiety: Anxiety is another big thing that feels out of my control a lot of the time. Medication sometimes helps, but something that I can do help this issue is meditate. Meditation was difficult for me to get into at first. It takes a lot of self-discipline. With some practice I now find it helpful. Just relaxing in general helps too; watching a movie, reading a good book.
Mainly, doing everything YOU can to make yourself healthier and feel better is all you really can do. Leaving the rest up to the doctors is part of the process. Accepting what you have control over and what you do not is essential. Once you realize that certain things are out of your hands and that’s just the way it is it’s a lot easier to take control of the things that aren’t out of your hands.