Waiting With Bated Breath

Most of us with stage IV brain cancer (or any type of cancer, really) talk and think about how far ahead we plan our lives. At first it’s ‘recovering from surgery’, then ‘getting through radiation’, and other short-term, cancer related ‘milestones’.

Then it’s 4 week MRIs…8 week MRIs…12 week MRIs… And with any luck it doesn’t go backward from there. We feel nervous about planning anything beyond those timeframes. We live MRI to MRI.

At some point, when things are going well, we might venture out beyond the 12 weeks and plan a trip/vacation or buy concert tickets for a show 6 months away.

BIG family milestones might be too much – entering high school, first dates, driver’s license, graduations, weddings, babies. Those may be too far out and we can only tentatively hope beyond hope that we are here to witness it all. (My kids are 8 and 11, so we’re a ways off from most of those)

So, you start to find other, safer perhaps, big events that push you forward in your fight. Maybe it’s the World Series, the Superbowl or the World Cup if you’re a big sports fan. Maybe it’s the harvest if you’re a gardening fanatic and have been waiting 3 years for that Avocado tree to produce something…even just one avocado. Maybe if you are glued to political drama, it’s to view actual bipartisan decision-making in Congress or witness politicians representing the people instead of the money. Ok, that last one isn’t very realistic, but you get the idea.

For me (family milestones aside), I aim my survival goals at when the next Diana Gabaldon novel is coming out. I aim for making it through the final part of season one of Outlander on Starz (April can’t come soon enough.) I aim to see if I finally make a decision on joining a yoga studio. Can I get to 10,000 steps a day? Are there enough recipes to use all of my son’s harvest of sweet potatoes? Will the dog EVER learn to get his leash on his own when we’re going for a walk instead of staring at me while I suggest the idea? Will I ever get up the courage to make artisanal vegan cheese? Will we ever learn who was responsible for making that idiotic last call for the Seahawks causing them to lose the championship?

These may not be the most important survival goals in the grander scheme of things, but they all take me past the next MRI. They get me back to living for tomorrow and beyond regardless of what my brain tumor cells decide to do.

My next MRI is Friday, by the way.

7 thoughts on “Waiting With Bated Breath

  1. I’m also having a brain scan MRI on Friday! Just checking on a small meningioma to make sure it hasn’t grown, which might indicate…you know what. I honor you for your openness and courage Karyn, and also for those moments when you might not feel so courageous but you live your life anyway. Holding your health in my thoughts!

  2. Sending lots and lots of positive energy to you, Karyn. And btw, I’m with you about Outlander 🙂 although at my age I’m trying not to hurry time along much faster than it already goes. Thank you, again, for letting all of us glimpse a bit of your world and know the struggles, the fears, and specifically the courage you exhibit everyday.

  3. And its going to be as positive a result (I am not sure that is the right term, but you know what I mean)as the last ones have been! You are going to get that cheese made! Only one thing, I love the Patriots (I love Green Bay best) & I was probably the only one at the Super Bowl Party who was happy at the end!

  4. Beautifully written, Karyn…as are all of your posts. You continue to make me count my own blessings and truly set meaningful goals …and of course, you and your beautiful family are right up there with the best things of all!!! Prayers for Friday and keep on writing! xoxo Patty

  5. I truly hope that your MRI scan went well and that all is there that should be there and nothing out of the ordinary is pulling faces at the old clanked-big-disco of a scanner. Your blogs remain inspirational and reading other comments it is clear they touch several people’s lives and hearts regularly.
    You go girl!

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