Sunday, July 06, 2008

Ok, I give up....

No, no - not giving up on anything big. Just giving up on the idea that I don't get anxious around PCR time. I have tried to tune in to my thoughts and feelings this past week, patterns and level of irritability and notice a definate increase of touchy-ness. I feel aggravated, wanting the time to go by till the test comes back, I find myself looking at things on a different level and sometimes going over the early days after diagnosis again. Those 'scareds' are never very far away at all and are only too keen to walk around with me at the first chance. Those thoughts are like living things hanging onto the railings of the safe box I put around my mind at times - at the first sign of that gate opening, in they come. And it takes some work sometimes to get them out again!

We are planning a trip up north again, probably to Banff and the Icefield Parkway, in late August. We really want to see those northern lights again. And as much as I plan, one calculation keeps on coming into the equation -when will the PCR results be back? Before we go? I HOPE so! Not that there is anything I can do about it anyway. If the results are great I know I will leave with a singing heart, if they have wobbled again, well - we all know that feeling that sits firmly in the heart and head. But even then, there would be nothing I could do about it anyway. Just wait another month and re-do the test. SIGH.

It seems to me that it's in mama-nature to worry about this stuff - no matter that we can make a difference or not. Sometimes, when everything goes so smoothly and the tests come back great and it would really be silly to worry, and no test is imminently looming - then I tend to let go the information I have learned about cml. Yes, of course it's still there, but sometimes when I read something - it's almost as if its clearer, as if its simpler or easier to understand. This happened just the other day - I found this explanation (below) and it put it so well that I hung on to it:

Chronic myeloid leukemia is a cancer that originates in the immune cells. It affects approximately 4,600 people annually in the United States. In the case of CML, large numbers of young immune cells do not mature, resulting in an excess accumulation of these cells. These leukemia cells then crowd the bone marrow and blood, suppressing formation and function of other blood cells normally present in these areas. In addition, the leukemia cells cannot perform their function properly, leaving patients susceptible to infection.

Chronic myeloid leukemia begins with a chronic phase, during which few or no clinical problems occur. However, when left untreated, the chronic phase progresses into acute phases; these phases, called the accelerated and blastic phases, are characterized by fast-growing and aggressive cancer. Patients reaching these acute phases have a poor prognosis for long-term survival.

Philadelphia chromosome-positive (Ph-positive) CML refers to the majority of cases of CML in which a genetic abnormality, referred to as the Philadelphia chromosome, results in the constantly activated growth of cancer cells. Roughly 30% of adult patients with acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) also have this genetic abnormality.

Gleevec is a biological agent that binds to and slows or stops the uncontrolled growth of cancer cells with the Philadelphia chromosome genetic mutation.

Maybe when I first had to learn about it, life was too scary to hear something as 'simple' as this - I am just glad that its easier now.

Steven is looking great, having fun with his life, full of smiles and its a great probablility that I spend more time thinking about his cancer than he does. I try so hard not to let the worry get to me. I know that many people would absolutely wish for only my level of worry in their lives, I know that worry is not going to make any difference to any test result or the future or the past. But does it stop? Nope....

I do think that I have a better control of it though and I think that to deny that worry will be denying a big part of who I am. So - I give up. I will worry, I will accept that worry and make sure that I keep it in the right perspective. I think that the worry in our lives keeps me on my toes, keeps me appreciating life in this very moment with everything in it, helps me make more good memories and keeps me aware that everything is so tenuous.

So I will face this waiting period for the next results with even more appreciation of what I have in my life..........
love and light

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