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I’ve had a plan.

My idea- my determination- on how things will go.

Two years from the last occurrence of my breast cancer and two years since having a “clear” PET Scan, I determined that would be the time I would  have another PET Scan.  Blessed by wonderful medical insurance coverage, I could have had a scan 6 months post having my lymph nodes under my right arm along with any remaining cancer removed.

Petscanmachine 300x199 May Our Plans Align: Its PET Scan Time (For me having the scan isn’t stressful, it’s the waiting on the results)

To check to see. . .   And again in another 6 months, or a year ago, I could have checked then to see if I was still “clear”.

“Why do you still have your port?”

chemo port21 226x300 May Our Plans Align: Its PET Scan Time (This is surgically inserted under the skin)

I’m often asked this question during these summer months with tank tops and summer strappy dresses, my quarter sized port protrudes obviously right next to my left collar bone.  Family and close friends ask wondering why someone who is “done” with cancer treatment would still have a device implanted in their skin to receive chemotherapy.  It is an oddity I admit, until you’ve had the outpatient surgery to insert a port twice and the outpatient surgery to remove the port-twice.

We don’t want or expect cancer to return.  We don’t want or expect many things in this life.  And yet . . . . 

So I’ve had a plan.

Wait until I’m two years out – then I will have a PET scan.  And when I’m “clear”, then I will have my port taken out.  My body, my plan.  My comfort level, my plan.  Did I pray about it?  I’m not sure.  Did I discuss it with my husband? Kinda.  My plan made sense to him as well.

Is there some magical or statistical relevance to the two years cancer free?  No, but there is some to three years cancer free.

With Triple Negative Breast Cancer, like I had, there is a high incidence of recurrence within the first three years after treatment.  It took less than a year for my cancer to recur in my lymph nodes, so I am  personally quite aware of this statistic.

So why am I not waiting for year three?  I don’t know.  I don’t base much of what I do on statistics.

Going through breast cancer twice in three years has taught me (when faced with making medical decisions) to attempt to figure out a balance between naturally nodding to my optimistic nature and taking a serious look at medical possibilities and at the reality I personally know to be true.

So two years became the balance.  That two years in coming up next week.  I will have my PET Scan on Monday, July 29.  Which means I will go into my “Test Bubble mode”.

bubble 300x223 May Our Plans Align: Its PET Scan Time

I’ll graciously allow myself to be “amped up”- full of nervous energy, irritable and even cranky.

(I’m blessed my husband gives me this grace too).

The day of the test-  I’ll even embrace being sad about being back in “cancer world” for that day.

I’ll allow myself to “give in” to the fatigue that the test and the sadness causes.

I will rest and be particularly kind to myself that day.

Test Bubble mode is my “give myself grace and permission to be a bit out of sorts” during the period that many cancer survivors call “Scanxiety”.  It’s starts the day or so before you go in for the scan- back into familiar territory where the people and surrounding you see will remind you of when you had cancer.  It’s the days you will wait to hear the results of your test.  The days you pray- for me- that the results will be definitive.  No Maybe’s or  let’s do more tests- no lets rule this out or check this further.

“ Lord, let it be what it will be, just let me know.  Oh, and about my plan.  I know you have your plan, and I I’m praying our plans coincide.”

“But if not, hold me and mine close like you always do, give me grace and strength and more and more love and trust in you.  Because as much as I love and trust you, its when these kind of big plans don’t mesh together, but instead collide like meteors in space (BOOM!! ) that I need extra measures of love and trust.  It’s a pray I don’t even need to pray, because you love to give out your love to me.”

I like my plan.

But I love my Jesus and trust God’s plan more than I trust my own.

So I will wait.  And while I wait I will make some exciting arrangements based on my optimistic plan.  A pre- op appointment with my plastic surgeon to finalize my decision on swapping out radiation damaged hard implants with different implants.   These new implants are something that wasn’t available to me 3 years ago, but now newer technology means softer material implants (called silicone gummies) without the threat of leakage.  My plan- a “2 for 1” surgery: new implants and removal of the port.

I make good and practical plans don’t you think?

I’m feeling good, really good and optimistic.  And hopeful.  My scan is July 29, so I will be off to my “Test Bubble” soon and hope to come out of it by end of next week when we receive the results.

And I pray and ask for yours as well.

May our plans align.

In Service & Hope,

Karen

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