Friday, October 19, 2012

A Thought Is Just A Thought

So I am back and in a very different place from my last entry. I was feeling lost last week and puzzled by my mixed reactions to the very good news. Cancer is tricky and it can really mess with your head but I have had my AHA moment and finally see things clearly.

I often write about how I have changed as a person through having cancer and I really try to see the good and positive sides to most situations. But if I am being perfectly  honest and for those of you who really know me – I am a natural born worrier. I have mastered the art of hiding my anxieties and worries under the shroud of humor and a smile but it is there and I feel it. This tendency to worrying was essentially given steroids when I got sick.  My worst fear had come true so what did this mean for everything else? Cue catastrophic thinking. What I have realized is that I am a very emotionally reactive person and almost immediately jump to the worst possible case scenario. Maybe I am a drama queen? Maybe I am a born pessimist? Or maybe I am just simply afraid. I don’t know the exact cause but I am giving my thoughts wings to fly on over to anxiety town by this dangerous way of thinking. It is exhausting for me and for the people around me -this constant rollercoaster up and down and round and round. No wonder my husband and I are utterly worn out. What I need to realize is that a thought is just thought but it is up to me whether I let it turn into something else. I am not a cancer expert nor can I predict the future so there is no real basis or validity to my worries. They only became real when I have been told otherwise. I often wrote in earlier entries about how I would never let cancer define me or be my identity but I think I failed in that. By allowing these worries to control and influence my life, I was letting cancer take more of me and I don’t want to give it anything else. I am not cancer. In acknowledging that worry and fear are normal parts of our busy lives, I also need to let these thoughts go. I will not allow the what ifs to control my life anymore. I also need to accept that uncertainty is just a part of my life for the next little while and I cannot do anything to alter that. And really, doesn’t everyone have some degree of uncertainty in their lives? We don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow, or next month or next year. It is just a part of life. I do not have cancer now and that is the only real thing I know so I must not spend any more time on thinking of other possibilities. Time goes by so incredibly fast and I just can't afford to waste any more on this pattern of negative thinking.

So as Monday rolls around, change is on the horizon for me. I am joining the real world again and beginning a new job after three years off. I think I would be scared if I had just been home with my monkey this whole time. Change is scary full stop. But boy can it also be exciting. I feel so fortunate to have this opportunity and I don’t want to waste it. In some ways, losing the safety net or crutch provided by being ill, makes me afraid. I need to stand on my own two feet and prove to myself and others that I can do it. No more excuses, no more waiting on the sidelines while life passes me by. I need to just close my eyes and jump off that cliff and not worry about where I land. I always seem to find a soft landing and I have no doubt I will find it in my next adventure. So seeing as this blog began as a way for me to deal with my cancer, like my time as a patient, it seems like it is also coming to a natural end. It has been so helpful for me to write down everything I felt and experienced but now I see that it is has become counter- productive. I am still hanging onto to being this cancer person and I need to cut the cord.  I am not saying it is over but it will be less of a focus for me. I need to start living like everyone else and not reliving this experience. It just isn’t healthy. I have this amazing new life waiting for me on the other side of the door and all I need to do is turn the handle.

I have so enjoyed and appreciated all of you joining me in this last chapter of my life but now it is time to turn the page and start writing a new one.

I thought I would close with some lyrics from the queen of Rn’B – Miss Mary J Blige. It felt fitting.
Uh, it feel so good
When you let go
Of all the drama in your life
Now you're free from all the pain
Free from all the game
Free from all the stress
So find your happiness
I don't know
Only God knows where the story ends for me
But I know where the story begins
It's up to us to choose
Whether we win or loose
And I choose to win
Mary J.Blige “No More Drama”



  1. I wish you luck for this coming chapter in your life! It must be exciting and fun and scary. You have come such a long way. Such an incredibly long way, and you must remember to give yourself credit for that!

  2. Oh Thoughts! They can cause such trouble and bring such delights. Dealing with worry and fear when one had cancer is probably harder than going through the treatments. However, you have navigated your way to NOW and managed to move forward in spite of tough times and you have come such a long way. You have gained wisdom, compassion, gratitude and you have dug deep to find strength. You are well equipped to move on... and try to job scene. You have many talents ready to use in that department. I wish you much luck and patience with yourself and the physical stamina you need. We are waiting in the wings... watching, hoping and wishing.... much love and great pride in you