The report of my PET/CT scan last week used words like ‘extensive’ and ‘markedly progressed.’ It talked about pulmonary, pleural, and nodal disease. It sounded pretty scary.

When I met with my oncologist yesterday, she said it wasn’t as scary as those words made it sound. There is continual progression of disease, but it is still slow progression and the rate of increase is pretty much what it’s been for the past year.

Of course my goal is to reverse that process and I am feeling a new resolve to do my best to allow that to happen. I want to use the many tools I already have, addressing body, mind, soul, and spirit. At the recommendation of my oncologist, I have started taking an aromatase inhibitor, Femara. I haven’t been taking the anti-cancer supplements prescribed by my ND for several months because of my diarrhea (it stops when I stop the supplements). I am hoping to try again, and am waiting for an appointment with my Naturopathic doctor.

The day after I read the results of my PET/CT scan I had a phone session with Dr. Matt, a cancer coach. He helped me not go down the rabbit hole of fear, and instead focus on what my heart needs now and what brings me peace and joy. I know that the more relaxed and centered I can be, the better my body/mind can heal. I am meditating and exercising on a regular basis, and being more mindful about what and how I eat.

Sometimes I feel optimistic and happy, and willing to accept healing into life or healing into death. And sometimes I feel very sad. There have been two deaths from cancer in my world in the past week, so sadness and grief are definitely part of my emotional terrain at the moment.

I have enough experience with cancer in myself and others to know that the only thing I can control is how I live and feel in the moment. Sometimes that influences the progression of cancer, and sometimes it doesn’t. I can’t be attached to a particular outcome, even though I do have a preference.

It’s too soon to know what effect my recent tooth extraction will have on the progression of disease. I will have monthly blood tests and my preference, and my vision, is that my tumor marker numbers will start going down next month. In the meantime, I am excited about the retreats and workshops I am planning for Healing Journeys this year because I’m planning what I feel will be useful for me.