In her PEOPLE.com blog, Diem Brown, the Real World/Road Rules Challenge contestant recently diagnosed with ovarian cancer for the second time, opens up about her desire for a child and the ups and downs of cancer and fertility procedures.
The waiting game.
We have the technology to put a man on the moon, and the President and the Pope Tweet us in real-time updates. But when it comes to medical test results, it feels as if things move at a snail’s pace. After waiting since Jan. 4 to supposedly find out on Jan. 25 about the “suspicious,” “concerning” spot on my liver after my last CT scan, I come to find out these test results aren’t as instant as I had imagined.
The waiting game is one that can – no lie – drive you mad! If I allow my anxiety to take control, I can immediately feel the tension all around me like a boa constrictor that is seemingly taking up the slack every time I let out an exasperated breath.
I know it hasn’t been that long since Jan. 25, but it’s been a long time in my mind, as I’ve been waiting since Jan. 4 to hear if I am in the final chapter of this cancer book or am I just starting “book one” of a very long series.
This may seem funny, but I have the same coping mechanism when I’m pissed off as when I’m anxious … I organize and clean! So weird, I know, especially because, I swear, my dad, boyfriend and sister piss me off sometimes just to get me into cleaning mode! I guess that, for me, organizing is a way to be productive and in control when I feel I have neither.
I will rearrange a whole apartment, changing the furniture direction in every room. I will raid the “junk” drawers, coat closets, filing cabinets, garages and anything else that will take me at least a good half-day to accomplish. This, my friends has becomes my magic anxiety release pill.
Funny enough, because it’s tax season now, I started making piles of old receipts I found in some random purse. Then, glancing up at the TV, I saw the most amazing aid to my crazy arsenal … The NeatDesk. It was like a beautiful bright light was shining directly on my TV in between Bravo Housewives marathons. So, logically, I bought the machine and now I’m on a scanning mission!
I want to get all my medical crap in order – including bills, test results, prescription receipts, doctor’s notes, etc. so I am using this NeatDesk thingamajig and getting some order and control back into my weird medical world.
I have also realized (especially as I read my logic) that stress kept indoors can make ya even more crazy than you have already become. That said, I’ve been trying to say yes to everything and get my compulsive booty outdoors to socialize with actual people other than those lovely ladies that reign on my TV.
I was so wrapped up and content in my apartment; my comfort with my weird organizing ways had turned me into a hermit. Girls’ nights in are amazing but … you need to get out!
I think winter in general can have that “hermit” effect on most people, as you tend to get so lazy and make excuses to not do things because you are too cold or feel just plain winter frumpy.
But since I realized and addressed my lazy, crazy ways instead of fretting about what news my test results will bring, I am choosing the word “yes!”
I have always believed in the power of positive thinking, but sometimes when you have gotten knocked down or disheartened it takes more effort to stick with the positive mindset. So for that I say follow that old Jim Carrey movie and say “yes” to whatever social offers are out there. Being social, laughing, dancing, having fun, etc. helps you not dwell on a test result or an outcome that you have no control over.
I hate the waiting game but I’m not going to let the waiting game chain me to my crazy mind and allow me to think of the negative “what ifs.” That’s just not me. However, as humans, those negative thoughts relentlessly try to creep into your mindset … but, as the powerful human that you are, you have the power of choice and can choose to turn that negative channel off.
Whether you need to distract yourself with other projects to keep your mind at ease or make yourself be social (friends, support chat rooms, dates, etc.) give yourself the green light to have fun and enjoy the moment.
The news will eventually come, no matter what you do while you wait. If it’s bad news, have faith you can handle it. If it’s good news, you will kick yourself for stressing over something nonexistent.
As I “patiently” wait for my results to come in, I’m feeling good! I’m visualizing the scan being clear and imagining my doc saying I am at the finish line to my second bout with cancer. I just need him to call me – stat – before I start knocking on neighbors’ doors asking if they want their closets cleaned!
Thank you all so very much for your comments, prayers and Tweets. I have never felt more supported in my life and I’m very aware of how very lucky I am to have y’all back me. Thank you and hope you are all having a wonderful week!
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