When you walk out of the doctor's office with good news, the CT scan was good and the blood tumor marker test was down where they want it — you get in the car and digest the news. And just take it in.
Now what? If you are also feeling better, getting on with an interrupted life is on the agenda — at least until the next checkup. For me, that's just another three scant months, and with pancreatic cancer, the statistics show that only six to eight percent will live five years. So it does take time and a lot of checkups to bring cancer comeback thoughts under control. My situation has resulted in more like a 40% chance of living to five years, according to some recent studies. While far worse than breast and some other cancers, these odds are a step up.
Biking in the breeze, floating in a pool, tackling tennis — makes me feel so alive right now. It's all good, as my sister says. Going back to a healthy routine and discovering life anew. What else shall I do?
So, I think to myself — gardening feeds my appreciation of life's enriching cycles. My fiancé John and I plant three gardens in the summer, including vegetables, annuals and perennials. I planted some new areas with bulbs in the fall — can't wait to see them emerge!
Looking through the lens of my camera, I see nature, people and places in new ways. I get some of them printed on big canvasses, a series of sunflowers, waves, birds and travels. Giving them away is rewarding too. A close-up lens sits right here for discovery on my next outing.
I'm volunteering for various cancer causes, including a pancreatic cancer walk (lustgarten.org, where 100% goes to research). There are so few survivors available to walk in my local event, just the families, and I have found myself thrown back into the horror of all the death around. I'm not ready, in my time of wellness, to be in too deep. I am choosing the ways to help that lift me up. So I help mostly from home, on my computer. We can choose to do what we can do.
Share Your Thoughts
What do you do when you get good news about your cancer diagnosis? What are you inspired to do? Share your comments below.