The PET/CT scan of August 12th was compared with the one I had about 6 months ago. The final impression on the report was that my stage 4 metastatic breast cancer is “stable.” It still feels a little scary to me to read “stage 4 metastatic.” I used to think those words would mean I was close to the end. But I also used to think 70 would feel old. It’s funny how one’s perspective changes when you are projecting into the future, or living it now. “Now” almost never feels scary to me; another lesson on the value of living in the present instead of worrying about the future.

When I read the report on my scan, I wanted to read that miraculously there was no evidence of disease. I still believe that is possible. I believe it is possible for tumors to get smaller without the “benefit” of chemo or radiation. My oncologist has a different perspective. What he is looking for in the scan is whether the cancer has shown up in any new places in my body. Once it is metastatic, he believes it will never go away or get smaller. It’s just a matter of how much it has grown. So the fact that there are only very small differences in 6 months is good news to him. My cancer is very slow growing.

When he told me that everything was about the same, I questioned whether the lump under my arm should be smaller since I had it surgically removed mid-June. He looked at the report again and said, “it’s about the same.” He said at this point in my journey, small differences are irrelevant.

I told him how small differences could activate my hope, but he didn’t seem to care about that. He is a technician who is useful for monitoring what is happening in my body. I will only be disappointed if I expect more from him. I have to be my own advocate, and find ways to activate my own hope.

The mission of Healing Journeys is to support healing, activate hope, and promote thriving. If the medical world was doing that, Healing Journeys would be unnecessary. I’m grateful for getting continual reminders that what Healing Journeys does is still needed.

I am continuing to search for more ways to promote my healing. I believe that healing has to come from addressing all levels of the person — mind, body, emotions, soul, and spirit. I have signed up for a 3-day training in Matrix Energetics in October. I expect it to be another source of support and personal thriving on my healing journey.

Jan on the Haiku Path

Jan on the Haiku Path

In the meantime, I am continuing to employ the six strategies I committed to when I started writing this blog. I am writing this while spending a week in Pt. Arena (on the Mendocino coast in Northern California), deepening my spiritual life, trusting my intuition, having more fun in my life, eating well, taking supplements, and expressing any negative feelings that come up (so far none have, but I’m ready to express if they show up). The ocean and the scenery are beautiful, I’m with someone I love, and life is good.