Waxing Parenthetical

There are days when I forget that I have cancer. Since my first scans told me that, for now, I’m in the clear, I have been so focused on trying to formulate a plan for moving forward that I sometimes go days without really thinking about the cancer thing. I’ve been knocking on opportunity’s door (more like repeatedly ringing its doorbell), enjoying a whole new world of dating, exploring my neighborhood with my trusty sidekick, Oscar, and working on some writing projects I’m really excited about. My biweekly infusions have just become a regular part of my routine and, especially since they’re such pleasant experiences, they don’t really register as ‘sick’ activities. It just feels like a day in the city with a two hour stop off to catch up with my buddies at NYU. I’m at the point where I’m like ‘meh – needles shmeedles.’

As lovely and amazing as it is to forget why I am where I am, it makes the moments when I suddenly remember feel akin to being hit in the soul with a bag full of bricks. Yes, right now, I’m ok. I just had my second set of scans… the six month mark (time sure does fucking fly) and I get my results on Friday. Tonight, I was paying a shiva call and a friend wished me good luck. I had been on an interview today (which went really well – fingers crossed) and I thought she was talking about that… and then I realized she meant my scan results. And one of those bag of bricks moments happened.

Here’s the thing… I’m confident (based on my doc, Melissa’s confidence) that I’ll stay stable for now. Because the ipi+nivo treatment is so new, there’s not all that much data out there (I AM the data), but the little data there is points to the likelihood that I will maintain my response. That said… what if I don’t? What then? Even if I do have clean scans this week (fingers and toes crossed), it’s still like living in between parentheses – where every three months I get to find out if I will, in fact, have time to pick the fruits of all these seeds I’m planting. Because the fact of the matter is that I have a disease that can reappear at any time and kill me pretty quickly. I hate to be so morose, but it is a truth I have to acknowledge. I spend 98% of my time being positive and optimistic, both for my own sake and the sake of all the people who love me.  I usually reserve that other 2% for therapy sessions (to which i attribute my continued sanity),  but what’s a good cancer blog without admitting that, sometimes,  I’m completely fucking terrified.

On the brighter side of things –  (literally)  – summer is my jam. The warm weather and sunshine make me love being alive that much more. (how ironic, right? thank god for SPF100).  Just gotta get through until Friday and then I can breathe for a while… keep ringing that doorbell until opportunity answers… do some groovy things during my favorite months of the year and hopefully have more days than not when I forget that I have cancer.

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8 Responses to Waxing Parenthetical

  1. Lucy Walker says:

    Ah… So great to read this… I think so often of your crazy situation and am so glad for your (praying) continued clear status. I had a crazy experience at the dentist (might have to save it for the special fb group… The dentist was all about wanting to know exactly what would be going on in six months… Like any of us really know… But how quick your brains accept the craziest new situations… I’m too tired and not as stitch late as you at the best of times… But your post articulated so clearly… And everything hoping for your continued ongoing stable health xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. sclazarus says:

    Hi Love, Happy in the extreme that you are basking in the best case scenario of the treatments. Also so glad that you don’t allow the bag of bricks to define you. xo

    Liked by 1 person

  3. chacha says:

    Leo Lady…. this is the time of your life… and you owe it all to you……(sing that please)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. mmwm says:

    My husband had 3-month, then 6-month, now yearly scans. It’s been 5 yrs since dx but we are always living in between the parentheses, knowing that anything that crops up could be the start of the end (again). Everyone is living in between the parentheses, but most people don’t know it. Mortality is a heavy thing but acknowledging it feels real (and terrifying, and honest) to me. As you know, the realisation of it — whether it comes sooner or later — makes each day and each moment full. I came here because of Liza Levin, who certainly knew the full truth, that she would die and that living fully mattered all the time. Namaste.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Can says:

    We are all keeping our fingers/toes crossed for you….love you

    Like

  6. Sadie Mullin says:

    Jen delighted all is well, so pleased for you. No one knows what is around the corner. Live in the moment and enjoy nature. Had Conor home for the weekend and we were talking about how great you are. He has been busy studying so exams are done and dusted till September. Rachel was home as well so all is good with him. Will continue to ask my St Anthony to keep you cancer free. Namaste Sadie. x

    Like

  7. I have been following these posts closely, Jen. I think of you often. You continue to inspire, with your strength, vulnerability, fear, and optimism. Love you!

    Like

  8. Rita says:

    Hi Jen , I think about you often. So good to hear your optimistic outlook and happy you are enjoying the summer. I also like to think my prayers are helping you so I will continue to pray . Hope we can get together soon.
    Love Rita

    Like

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