I feel compelled to tell you that I had a draft post ready to go entitled “Year Two of my Ketogenic Life”. One of the most popular posts here at Greymadder remains the Year One version. Over the past month, as I prepared to go for my six month MRI monitoring scan, I started drafting the list of things I’ve learned after more than two years of eating this way, of writing about it, of reading and researching topics around nutrition and cancer, and the metabolic side of cancer as a disease. During my mental composition time – usually while driving or showering – I thought about the people I’ve met online, the tendrils of relationship that have crept out from this blog to other platforms and into my real life. I thought about how I accidentally stepped right into the middle of quite a few “alternative medicine” and “quackery” debates, and how that made me re-examine the way I speak and the words I use in my writing.
All of that thinking was a great exercise. Then I received my MRI results and learned that my tumour shows signs of progression on imaging.
Since my diagnosis in the summer of 2012, I’ve had six MRI monitoring scans, which all showed the tumour was stable. I’ve been telling people, “we know that eventually we will get the news that it’s changed or grown, we know it’s not likely it would never grow”, but of course we all hoped we would never get that news. Because that’s how hope works, it reaches, sometimes heartlessly and viciously, for the unlikely.
So now we place our emphasis on all of the skills we’ve been working to cultivate over the last three years – focusing on what the next step is that’s right in front of us; knowing that I am more than this tumour, it does not define me or occupy my whole life; accepting help and updating everyone who cares for me; maintaining calm and mindfulness; caring for my mind and body; spending time in the world and with loved ones; scheduling my own quiet time.
One step at a time. Not easy, because now I am in flurry of appointments and doctors and plans. But I do so love to be the center of attention!