Scan Purgatory

It happens every time. The wait. The anxiety. The nerves. The quiet understanding between Jordan and me as we wait for our baby girl’s scan results.

Will the cancer be gone? Will it have metastasized? Will it be the same?

Marjorie’s previous two scans showed stability, meaning the cancer did not spread, but it also did not go away. To say I was left confused and devastated was an understatement. The results always knock the wind out of me no matter how much I attempt to emotionally prepare for them.img_0509

It was a weekend filled with wonderful distractions at Derek and Lara’s, our Jacksonville family who housed Marjorie and me all summer as she underwent chemo. But tonight we are back home. Waiting.

My mind has been scattered since pulling into our driveway this afternoon. I put Marjorie down and couldn’t wait to sit on the back porch. I needed to write, to think, to process what the last few days have been. As I watch the sun’s light fade between the oaks, I anxiously await the phone call from our oncologist tomorrow.

The purgatory wait for results always takes me back to the day, the day our baby girl was diagnosed with cancer. A day that is looming and imminent on our calendar.

May 27.

I can’t help but to think back to that gut wrenching day. It was the only day Jordan and I said nothing to each other for hours on end. We waited. And waited. I wrote a blog and Jordan laid still on the small hospital sofa. Writing was the only thing I could do. It was too hard to talk on the phone or have a conversation. The feeling remains the same now. So I write.

Tomorrow will come. The phone will ring. Will it be a call that forever alters our lives yet again? Will it be another much of the same? I don’t know. This wait is agonizing.

In this very moment, I want to collapse in tears,  but my body won’t let me. It is that all too familiar place of shock and survival that I have lived much of the last two years in. I hate this place of numb. I hate feeling trapped in my head with a raging desire to scream, stomp and run the anxiety and fear out of my body and out of my life.

Tomorrow will bring a phone call that will catapult me out of the shock and into the sensation of feeling again. I welcome it. I welcome any feeling other than numbness of purgatory. But I find relief in knowing that this will end. I cannot change the results or what tomorrow will bring, but I can control how I accept the feelings that will come up.

My eating disorder kept me from feeling – happy, sad, angry, disappointed…you name it. I felt nothing. I have worked hard in my recovery to not only embrace every emotion, but give myself the time and space to feel them as well. For if we push away sadness we will never fully know joy.

My two children bring me more joy than anything on this planet. I simply could not imagine my world without them. I have come too close to losing Marjorie…twice. I carry a lot of grief in my heart, but with that grief comes pure joy – the kind that shoots out like rainbows. Because we have stared down death and felt the lowest points of sadness, we have also felt the highest level of joy in life’s simple pleasures.

Tonight, I choose to sit in the numb knowing the joy will return. The sadness will creep back in and that is okay too. I will wait. Tomorrow we will wake up and find joy in morning chaos. We will wait for the call and remind ourselves that every minute is a gift, even the ones in purgatory.

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