When you have had cancer, it never really ends

Cancer never really leaves you. Even when you hear the words “You’re in remission,” a little bit stays behind (metaphorically speaking) in your mind. That tiny voice that whispers “What if?”

Even my remission qualification wasn’t without some hurdles. The CT scan showed something suspicious and I had to get a CT-guided biopsy to make doubly sure it wasn’t anything. Thankfully, it wasn’t and remission was declared.

I haven’t shared what I’m about to with even my husband yet. I’ve only just been told, but I need to get it out of my head so I can try to not worry. Try to not hear that tiny voice whispering. Thank goodness I have therapy in an hour.

I had a CT scan two weeks ago. Got a call from my doctor’s nurse that they wanted to set up a PET scan. I asked if the CT was clear, and she said yes, that this was just to be thorough.

My PET scan was yesterday. My oncologist just called me to say that there were some suspicious areas in my upper left arm and near my pancreas. The type of gene mutation I have means I am more susceptible to breast and pancreatic cancer. So, another biopsy in both areas before I’m deemed “clean.” And, to top if all off, the CT scan wasn’t clear (my ever-so-diplomatic doctor said, “Well I’m not sure what was said…,” to which I replied, “I asked ‘clear’ — she said ‘yes’.”).

The little voice isn’t whispering right now. And I’m scared. Because that “What if” remains. Indefinitely.

I’m finally acknowledging that fact now. I went back to my regularly scheduled programming and continued on as though nothing had happened.Honey, you were only fooling yourself.

What if, indeed.

17 thoughts on “When you have had cancer, it never really ends

  1. I am inspired by you…. I aspire to become the graceful women that you are… no matter the outcome your growing ad learning,.. and we are all becoming better for it as you teach us the challenges of life make us stronger… your also genuine and by sharing your stories you will only help others.. keep us posted and I love your smile it’ll never fade.. love you!


  2. You are a fighter. You can do this, and maybe those “suspicious areas” are just shadows, nothing to worry about. Or they are pre-cancer, or even cancer. Doesn’t really matter because you will do battle with whatever happens just as thoroughly as you did the first time.
    Gene mutations suck. And I’m sorry you have that particular one–by the way, it must be from your father’s side, since my family does not have any history of that kind of cancer–we mostly die of heart stopping in old age.
    I am holding you close in a virtual hug, sending lots of positive energy and healing to you. I suspect you already know this, but…live each day as if it’s your last; do the things you love, be with the people you love, have no regrets about what was not accomplished today. Being Buddhist (Zen), I (try to) live moment by moment, without reaching for either the past or the future. It makes my life a lot calmer.
    I know that you are surrounded by love, your husband and your friends and family. (Hi, James!) Please know that that circle of love extends beyond CA; Liz and William and I love you, too! There are people all over the place whose lives you have touched; they also hold you in the light of healing and love. And if you ever need someone to talk to (even with all those around you IRL), you know that you can reach me any time.
    I love you, and by extension, Kenji. Hold tight to each other and this too, shall pass.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jess we love you and are keeping you and Kenji close in prayer….on a different note I know you are in good hands but the offer remains for a Hopkins second opinion….we do 8-10 whipples a week so we are well versed in pancreas concerns! ❤❤ you bunches!


  4. We have been through so much. We have seen the darkest moments, and the highest peaks together.
    The world could fucking blow up, and I am the cockroach that will crawl out of rocks to find you. You and I have seen things, have had experiences that forever bind us as sisters. And we don’t share blood, we share something stronger- devotion.
    No matter what the fuck happens, I will not stop showing up for you.


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