Tuesday, November 6, 2007

What’s in a Date?

December 7 is an infamous date because it was the day the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, thereby drawing the U.S. into World War II. It’s also the date I found out I had breast cancer.

August 15 is another momentous date. It was the day Korea gained independence from Japanese colonial rule. It’s also the date I found out I had a recurrence of breast cancer.

I’m going to have a PET-CT scan tomorrow to see whether this chemo I’m getting is working, whether my cancer has spread, or tumors have shrunk. I wonder if November 6 has any historical significance.

I should be nervous about this test, even dreading this test. Instead, I’m looking forward to it like Christmas. I’m waiting for a big surprise and the anticipation is exciting and almost fun. Is something wrong with me?

I think I’m looking forward to this test with cheerful anticipation not because I expect it to show that my cancer has miraculously disappeared, but because I expect it to give me some more clarity about where my life is headed, literally.

I’ve been getting headaches for the past week or so, and I hardly ever get headaches. Maybe tomorrow’s test will show that I have a brain tumor. Or at least that I need to get another test, an MRI, to find out if I have a brain tumor. It might be a relief just to get that big hurdle over with.

It’s the difference between knowing there’s a monster somewhere out there waiting to get you but you don’t know when or where it will attack, and knowing exactly where the monster is and going straight for it on the offensive. As they say in sports, the best defense is a good offense.

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