Posted by: paigeturner123 | February 12, 2011

Good news is always a let down.

OK, so the title of this post isn’t exactly 100% true, but with something like cancer your reaction to good news can be a bit cagey at best.

I’ve had a few weird set backs in regards to my one year follow up scan. My blood work postponed my initial scan and then I had to get another scan because my system needed to be cleaned out a bit more in order for the radiologists to feel comfortable telling me my scan was 100% negative. Yes, I had TWO scans! Ugh. By the time everything was said and done I’m sure my thyroid stimulating hormones were well above 100. I am officially hypothroid and my system is slowing waaaaay down. It is hard to eat more than a little bit of food at a time because my digestion is so slow, but I know that each day that I am back on my medication and I am able to exercise a little more, the more I will get back on track in my daily life. This whole ordeal has taught me a lesson that I keep having to relearn . . . allow for error, plan less, and prioritize.

I am learning to streamline again. I got so busy with work, socializing and other activities in my life that when I couldn’t keep up it made me feel really bad about myself. When I am in tip top shape I can do so much, but I have not been in tip top shape for awhile now. There is nothing wrong with that, or me. I’ll get back there and I have the opportunity to listen to my body and my mind tell me what is important to me. At this point I’ve reminded myself that writing and exercising are the two most important things to me and I want to really continue to do those two things in a regular way. I am able to do those things and I am going to slowly work back up to exercising 3 times a week and writing 3 times a week. I am really close to finishing my 2nd novel and I want to get it to a good revised state (the first one never really went through a 1st revision).

Be good to yourself and allow yourself to heal. That is something I have to tell myself. All this should be (in an ideal world) seen though the filter of realism, not optimism or pessimism, but realism. Really, if you find that coping is easier to do through optimism, go with that, but I’ve learned that an overly optimistic perspective can lead you into a harsh reality when your expectations are dashed!

The good news is, my scan and blood work was negative for cancer– this time!  I am happy, but there is still a lingering doubt that next time I won’t be so lucky and that, my friend, is reality.


  1. Interesting thoughts on pessimism vs. optimism vs. realism. Doesn’t an optimistic outlook correspond to quicker healing? (It seems like I’ve read a few things that suggest the power of positive thinking is important when dealing with long term health issues.) However . . . I can definitely see how “thinking positively” can put you in an unprepared state of mind, and leave you reeling when reality comes in to dash your optimistic dreams. Is there a way to be optimistic and realistic at the same time? I don’t know.

    One thing I have considered when I find myself worrying about all the terrible things that might happen one day is that yes, those bad things could happen. Some things are more likely to happen than other things–some stuff might even be VERY likely to happen. But–they are not happening now. And if they do happen one day, I don’t want to look back and think of all the time I wasted worrying / being pessimistic about it. I guess this ties into your thoughts on living in the moment in the last post.

    Right NOW you have good news and that is wonderful! And it’s your current reality, right? All right!

    • Yes, Rebecca, I too have read about optimism corresponding to “quicker healing”, but honestly there is really know way to measure that in any quantifiable way. Who knows if it was optimism that really healed a person or if it was actually just the person taking care of their body, exercising and eating well. Because even that doesn’t mean that a person will heal faster (or at all). I think about that often. Some people just have a chemical make-up that reacts to their environment in such a way that brings on disease and vice versa. I know there area a lot of factors that come into play, that’s why it makes it much harder to figure out why people suffer from diseases etc.

      For sure optimism is much easier to be around and much easier to use to struggle through a difficult situation. I think I am more optimistic than pessimistic in general, but I know that I need healthy doses of reality to really help me get through a situation that is difficult.

      But my reality is a good one and I want to be present and know that I am cancer free, RIGHT NOW! It feels good.

  2. I do think that an optimistic or pessimistic outlook might be, in most cases, just a part of someone’s basic personality. Also, you make a very good point of optimism leading to behaviors that would explain “quicker healing.” Interestingly, you come across as a very hopeful, optimistic sort of person (who leads a very healthful lifestyle)!

    And hooray for cancer free! And right now!

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