I’m back in the unknown again. My CA-125 is rising and Dr. T ordered a stat CT last week. I don’t have results yet. My 5th round of Doxil is on Tuesday.
It’s not surprising at this point. Remember, chronic illness.
And it’s not that it gets easier to hear that things aren’t working. It’s completely frustrating. But wishing for things to be different than what they are is futile.
“There is life how it is, and life how we think it should be. The more we cling to the latter, the more we struggle.”
– Andy Puddicombe
Something I’ve learned in my meditation practice is to stop labeling some emotions as “good” and others as “bad.” That these emotions over here are what we want to feel all the time, while those emotions over there are the ones we should avoid at all costs. There’s no avoidance. It’s not about making the emotions go away. That’s just a story my mind is telling me.
I’m learning to take a step back and be curious about the emotions that arise. I let the emotion come to the surface, and instead of letting it take over me, I inspect it. What does it feel like? What are the sensations in my body?
When my anxiety is in full swing, it feels like my heart is racing. That’s what my mind tells me. I’m able to confirm the truth with my fitbit, and pretty much every time, what my mind is telling me is not true.
So, when I get news like the above, I think about what’s true.
Sure, it’s true that my CA-125 is rising. It’s also true that I feel great and am able to do (most) physical activities. (I’m nursing a back injury, but that’s because I have this little problem with not going too hard, too soon.)
It’s true that the Doxil fucks my week up with nausea and fatigue. It’s also true that I’m still able to work full-time.
What I can’t allow myself to do is dwell on things that aren’t true — the ever-present unknown. I don’t know what the CT results will be. I don’t know if we’ll add another treatment to the Doxil. I don’t know how that treatment will make me feel. I don’t know if I’ll lose my hair again. I don’t know if life will have to pause once more.
I can’t live in the “I don’t know.”
I can live in the truth and practice being present in the moment.
What’s true right now is that my life is good and I’m grateful for the problems I have.