Today I had an appointment with my oncologist about the next steps for my cancer treatment. I was pretty scared, in part because I had a PET scan during the downtime since my last chemo treatment. We're naturally curious folks in this household so naturally we looked at the results. They showed the rectal cancer shrinking and the liver cancer growing. That concerned us, so naturally I went looking for answers on what the next steps might be from Dr. Google. Sometimes that's not the smartest move, but it did help a bit by telling me about options for treatment outside of carving up my liver. The oncologist doesn't seem to think that's a necessity, but that's also not is specialty. I have an appointment with the liver doctor to discuss next actions on Monday, and a CT Scan to get a lay-of-the-land on Wednesday (they tried to schedule it earlier, but unfortunately there weren't any spaces up until Wednesday. Also it's early in the morning so I'll be in a right mood). I have another round of chemo (three treatments at this point) but so far the little bit of clarity on next actions really helped me to focus on what needs to happen to make me better. It brought my fear down substantially.
The more we can break things down into steps that we can perform the less anxiety we have around that particular project or feeling. Going from "I have no idea what to expect" to "I have these things that are happening in the next six weeks" is liberating. That's true of my cancer treatment as much as it's true of any projects that you might have: having clear, concise, actionable steps removes the stress. Keeping things as amorphous blobs that have no edges and no definition keeps us in that space of fear, uncertainty, and doubt.
More to come as I know it, but for now I'm relishing the relative certainty that I have in this moment.