Life recently has been non-cancer focused, for once! I recently took a new position in my company, finally moved away from the hospital and city I was sick in and am generally doing healthy young adult things.
Record scratching screeching stop.
The day I left to drive my things out to Boston, I began my morning with an appointment at my oncology survivor clinic. It seemed a very fitting way to leave Cleveland. I was exhilarated to show my fabulous oncology team that I was finally healthy enough to consider leaving my local support system and making a move cancer muggles wouldn’t have to medically think about. The cherry on the cake was seeing the oncologist who released me from transplant as I waited for the elevator. My survivor oncologist, as always, had done copious amounts of homework prior to my visit, and mentioned that I was overdue for an echocardiogram. I was back in town for a few personal events and managed to squeeze in the echo during that visit.
Today the online health system sent me a few updates, and I remembered I never actually saw the results of the echo, so I emailed my doctor. Sitting in my new office, in my new city, I answered her phone call. And there’s something. Nothing big or bad enough to be concerning, but enough to warrant an oncocardiac appointment. And suddenly, my grown-up adult bubble of sitting in a legit office with windows and a desk is popped and all the excitement of new beginnings is sapped out of me.
I immediately go into my cancer-crisis mode. Thinking about transferring care locally, the appointments I’ll need to make, what could this possibly mean long-term. Planning for the very worst. I’m going home for Thanksgiving. My plans this morning included fitting in as much cooking, sibling, and friend time as I possibly could. But this afternoon includes scheduling appointments, time for pharmacy med pick-ups, and considering the follow-up implications of this.
And the cheerful, almost carefree woman who entered the building this morning is no more. Suddenly my head is pounding. My heart hurts. I wonder how much this seemingly insignificant echo result could affect my contributions to the people staring back at me from my computer screen. Will I still be with them after Christmas?
Am I being morbid? Realistic? Using my past experiences to shape my future expectations?
Regardless, it was an unwelcome reminder that no matter how far out or how much I think I can leave cancer behind, it will always find a way to worm itself back into my life.