I am slowly regaining energy and strength and feel that my brain is becoming my friend again. I'm not so terrified to think the dark thoughts that are real and constant and ever-present. I am getting better at voicing those fears, acknowledging their existence, and then staring them down and inviting them them leave.
I have found that if I allow myself the thoughts (and don't run and hide from them) then I have some control. Thoughts aren't reality. Fears aren't fact. If I voice my worst fears, I am able to pull them in perspective, loosen their power over me, and begin to find my optimism. It's a practice... a work in progress... I get better at it the more I do it.
Tom and I have started our cancer support groups again (his for the caregiver and me, the patient). Our groups are next door to each other. I can sometimes hear him through the wall, and I know he hears me (my laugh is loud, and we do laugh). I was in need of a community where there is sympathy but no time for dwelling on it. We tell our sad stories like AA introductions. "I'm Renee. I have stage 4 colon cancer which has spread to my liver. I was diagnosed in 2008." No one cries at the introduction. These are the facts. Crying comes when the patients talk of their spouses, children, caretakers coping (children, caregivers) with our illness.
We are awaiting some genetic test results to find out what the next plan on action is. Is there another chemo option? Is there a clinical trial? Do I have liver surgery before or after chemo? I have another scan at the beginning of April which will help determine the next step. We leave for Australia days later for my sister Juliet's wedding, the prospect of which makes the whole family excited.
The kids are doing well despite our anxiety. Tom and I went on a field trip with Cole's class this week. I am trying to get out more... walk more... We took a long walk through Tilden Park with a determined park ranger, 16 4 and 5 year olds, and a displaced newt.