The Party is Over

Friends and Family,

Thank you to everyone for the great support while I have been waiting to find out what is happening with my cancer. You have helped make the wait for some understanding of what is going on much more bearable. And now, the wait is over.

I got an email from my doctor’s office this afternoon. It’s everything I hoped to hear! The gastroenterologist said that this mushy-ness in my pancreas has only a small chance of ever turning into cancer, or of being life-limiting. YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!

The funny thing is, over the past two or three days, I was already starting to feel less worried about it. This seems to happen every time there is bad news, or even the threat of bad news. My first response is to dive head-first into panic, gloom and doom. Give it some time, and I remember that I know how to do this. After all, I have enough experience by now. :-)  

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So, what’s in that toolbox of coping skills? Here are a few that I used this time:

*         Taking in all the love and support, from you, and from Genevieve. It makes all the difference in the world.

*        Acceptance: If it happens, it happens. This was the hardest tool to develop when I first started on this journey, but it keeps getting easier with practice.

*         Perspective: We’re all going to die, so all we are talking about is when. Of course later would be better, but I can’t control that. I have to let go.

*         Gratitude: I have been extremely fortunate to live more than eleven years (!) since I was first diagnosed, and more than six years since I was re-diagnosed. This is extraordinary, and one of the reasons that I feel blessed every day.

*         More Gratitude: The love you have shared has not only been one of the main reasons that I am still alive, it has also been life-changing.  Thank you for this incredible gift!

*         Logic: When we are in panic mode, every random thought takes us into a new and even more scary direction. Once I got past that, I started thinking about a few things: 1) The pancreas is not a place that lung cancer usually spreads to, at least not first. 2) When the cancer starts to spread, it seems to always spread more in the lungs before looking for new territory. 3) It makes no sense at all that I would randomly get pancreatic cancer that didn’t spread from my lungs, since my chances are no higher than the general public. The odds against it are great.

Thanks again for being there. It makes a world of difference.