7.28.2011

The Waiting Game

Monday morning, I decided to have some blood work done because I've had some odd swelling and soreness in my chest and neck.  I haven't been to a doctor in years, apart from my annual lady exams, so I figured I'd shell in for the works and get everything tested and measured, just to be sure.  Well, the results came back on Tuesday.  They looked great.  According to the test results, I'm fantastically healthy.  So much so, in fact, that the technician who called me with the results asked if I "work out a lot."  Now, I get that question fairly often in person, but never before over the phone.

I was very relieved and figured I wouldn't need to take any steps further, but the technician also expressed curiosity as to why I wanted to have the tests done.  When I told her my concerns, she recommended that I see a physician anyway, just to be sure.

I did.  And I received some horrifying news.  The word "cancer" was uttered.  More tests are under way.  A biopsy scheduled for Tuesday, and meanwhile, my entire life is suspended in the balance.  Waiting.  Waiting for Tuesday morning to roll around.  Waiting for the doctor's word.  Waiting for the results of the biopsy.  Waiting, waiting, waiting.

And wondering.  Wondering how it's possible that I could feel so healthy yet be so unwell.  Wondering how my body can be functioning at the level it is and be battling something so dangerous.  Wondering if it's possible that the practice itself has kept me well enough to prevent me from recognizing the signs of illness until now.  As difficult as this may be to swallow, athletes and yogis are not immune to disease.  Look at Lance Armstrong, or Derek Ireland.  Or, more close to home for me, an Ashtanga teacher here in Austin whose amazing practice I have admired from a distance.  They all got it.  Now I might have it, too.

So, you might be wondering what I've been doing to cope with the uncertainty.  I've been doing my practice, breathing every breath like it could be my last.  And teaching, with so much love for my students bubbling to the surface that I can barely contain myself.  I want to do everything that I can to secure the practice in their lives because, in the midst of this nightmare, it's the only thing that has been a comfort to me.  It's the only thing in life that I feel has prepared me for moments like these.

26 comments:

  1. I hope everything turns out well for you Megan...sending good thoughts your way :)

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  2. I'm sorry to read about the anxiety that the waiting is causing you right now. Eileen Hall, a teacher from Oz battled breast cancer a couple of years ago and her story might be good to read, if you haven't yet: www.ayl.com.au/fileadmin/user.../AYL_Issue_10_EILEEN_HALL.pdf

    As an aside, I've really been enjoying your blog and your style of writing. Keep it going :)

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  3. Strength and love, strength and love, strength and love. You got it.

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  4. Fingers deeply crossed for you Megan. But even if it is cancer, there is life after cancer! I know - I was diagnosed with NonHodgkins Lymphoma over 4 years ago, and I'm currently cancer-free and happily practicing my yoga!

    The waiting is the worst. If you do get that diagnosis, once you have a plan in place, it all gets much more manageable. And yes, Eileen Hall is one of many inspirational stories! Feel free to contact me if you want any further support or help. You are not alone ... :)

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  5. Cancer no longer means death sentence in a lot of the cases thanks to medical advances. My heart goes out for you and I wish you nothing but the best news. You're right; yoga is supposed to help us prepare for moment like this. From the sounds of it, you already seem mentally more prepared than the average non-yogis. I think you will be strong enough to tackle this thing, both mentally and physically. Know that you have lots of support from the cybershala. Sending you lots of love.

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  6. Fingers crossed for the results. The waiting is so hard, I remember from A similar situation a few years ago. Much love to you xx

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  7. All the best. I hope you have all the love around you that you need. Waiting is terrible, but it will end - I hope there is some good, good news for you at the end of this tunnel. Crossing fingers seems futile with the threat of disease lurking around the corner but I'll cross my fingers none the less.

    I've only just started reading your blog, as you know, but I've already seen so much knowledge and energy and joy radiating from it, and I hope you don't mind me sending you a big hug, along with my fingers crossed and wishes for the best.

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  8. Christ Megan, fingers crossed here too, toes eyes and buttock cheeks too. Of course if it's bad news at least you in amazing shape to do battle, got a bit of a head start on it. Now what else can I cross...... X

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  9. Sending love and positive thoughts your way Megan. ♥

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  10. Megan, It is Friday and I have just read this. Wondering if you have results by now. I am sending much love and positive energy your way.

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  11. Thank you all SO MUCH for your support. It's very meaningful and gives me strength.

    @Susiegb - Lymphoma is the big concern I'm looking at right now. X-rays and CT scan ruled out breast or lung cancer. Thanks for sharing your experience. It's good to hear from someone who's made it through.

    @Anne - I don't mind a hug from you at all. :)

    @Grimm - I feel well-equipped for the battle, but it could be a hard fight. That's the only thing that scares me.

    @Dottie - The biopsy isn't until this coming Tuesday, so I've got a few days to twiddle my thumbs and try to fight off the anxiety. Should see the results later next week, I would think. Thanks for the love.

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  12. The word cancer is one of the most darkly charged words in the world... Once it's thrown at you, it kinda knocks you out. But it's not a death sentence, the way it used to be. Keep breathing (it's hard, I know), keep your wits about you, set up a plan, and know that this too shall pass. Much love and light!

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  13. Megan — I don't think I've ever commented, but have long admired your dedication and honesty. I wish you the best.

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  14. My thoughts are with you, Megan. We went through the same with my Dad last month and the waiting was the worst.

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  15. Megan, all good wishes. Yes, waiting sucks. And I'm a thousand miles from there, sure, but let me know if I can do anything.

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  16. I'm sorry to hear this. I wish you will hear from your doctor soon and everything will be okay. I'm from a family with history of cancel and diabetes, in fact I had a surgery last year to remove early signs of what might turn into cancer cells. I have a healthy diet, I don't eat fast food, I don't drink soda and I exercise 5 days a week. And you know what, if one day I had cancer, at least I know that I had tried my best. No regret. Just continue live active and happy. Wish you the best of health, Megan.

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  17. Sending you good energy and wishing you the best health. My thoughts are with you Megan!

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  18. Megan- Wow that is some heavy news, I hope you get good news Tuesday. But if not, Cancer is not the end of the game
    i had Cancer 7 years ago (Prostate Cancer @ 45) I only got a test because my GF asked me to.. Cancer free today and enjoying life even more.

    I will keep you in my prayers, stay positive
    Jim

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  19. Fingers crossed for you Megan! I have two friends who just came out on the other side of lymphoma - they were told it has a higher chance of recovery than most cancers, if that's a consolation at all. At least you're in tip-top health and will be better equipped to battle it, if worst came to worst. All best wishes! xx

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  20. Dear Megan, BIG HUGS! i'm feeling sick but I REFUSE to go see the doc. HUUUGS.

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  21. Megan! I will be praying for you, and if there is absolutely anything I can do for you, even if it's just hang out so you can be distracted the next couple days, don't hesitate to let me know! As a friend it would be an honor to help you feel better in any way.

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  22. I really hope all turns out well! I will be watching your blog and sending you lots of hope!

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  23. As odd as it can sound, a lot of people said cancer was their wake up call for life, isn't it ironic?
    Even though we exercise more, breathe better, eat better... We are still affected by pollution, heavy metals, toxins, etc.
    I imagine waiting is the worst, the days must feel like an eternity... and yes, cancer is a very scary word indeed.
    I'll keep my fingers crossed for you!
    Have you done researches on the net about the effects of spirulina and chlorella? I would seriously advise you to! I take it everyday and it has an amazing power to protect against and/or reduce cancer. I use it as preventive measure, after all we live in a very toxic planet.

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