Life After Cancer Treatment

Sunny window“So are you cancer free now?” My hair stylist asked me a couple of days ago.

She was trying to conjure up something normal out of my three inch orphan Annie curls that started taking the shape of Jagr’s mullet.

I watched her in the mirror and replied:

“I guess…I mean, for now, I guess I am.”

She looked at me and smiled, satisfied with the answer.

I stared at the floor.

Am I cancer free? Am I?

I have no fucking idea.

I will probably never feel cancer free.

Maybe I will feel like it during the first day or week after a clean PET scan. But after that?

The thoughts will start slowly creeping in. Is it starting to grow somewhere again? Where will it show up? And the thoughts will grow into waves of anxiety that will culminate in a tsunami the day of the next PET scan. I will not know if I get crushed by it or if I’ll stick it out high in a tree as the mad waters rush by me.

Living after cancer treatment is like walking on a path only seeing one step ahead, not knowing if the next step will take you down a cliff or onto a beautiful meadow.

Living after cancer treatment is like walking into a pitch black room, wondering if you’re gonna stump your foot with your next step or land in a soft feathery bed.

Living after cancer treatment is like clicking on an email from a dear friend that you haven’t heard from for a long time.

Living after cancer treatment is like reaching for the Bankrupt or ten thousand dollar wedge on Wheel of Fortune.

Living after cancer treatment is like walking into a muddy lake and not being able to see through the water.

Living after cancer treatment is like opening an unexpected package in the mail.

Living after cancer treatment is like riding a rollercoaster blindfolded.

Living after cancer treatment is like switching radio stations.

Living after cancer treatment is like drawing straws.

Living after cancer treatment is stressful.

Living after cancer treatment is scary.

Living after cancer changes you.

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