It's June 13, 2013. My nephrologist called yesterday morning saying "Your kidney recovery is incredible! When can we schedule your dialysis catheter to be removed?". This was the call I have been waiting for for 7 weeks. He wanted to wait one more week to make sure the test results last week were really correct and of all things, my kidney function improved further. Today at 1pm, the dialysis catheter was taken out! My life will become even more normal as I don't have to shower with plastic wrap taped to me and I may finally be able to sleep on my right side! Again little things that I used to take totally for granted.
The route forward? I've noticed that now that I have a much more normal life now that I don't have dialysis 3x a week and that I feel absolutely great, is that I can't slip into my "old attitude" on life. What many don't know is that prior to getting sick, I was a total hard-driving, schedule locked stress machine. Too much was focused on where I had to be (to the minute), what I had to do and if anything deviated from that, I would get upset internally. Many little things that was 'outside my opinion of what it should be' would get a negative comment in my head. Examples, people's driving habits in Manila which didn't suit my liking, government actions, whether they be local or International, other peoples' way of life. I'll share with you some things I've learned that has helped me to cope with cancer and allowed me in the past few weeks to have a more positive attitude.
* If you accept things that are completely out of your control, you will be happier. Totally true! I've accepted that I have cancer, but it doesn't control me. The way other people drive is totally out of my control. Let it go!
* Instead of criticizing something, compliment the good stuff. You'll feel much better. Here's an example, I was upset with my insurance company earlier because they needed things done in a certain procedure. After I thought about it further, I stopped being upset and thought about how much they've helped me get through this. No more negative feelings!
* Force yourself to have fun. I know this sounds totally obvious but honestly, before I got sick, everything was more of a "task" rather than to have fun. I can't tell you how fun it was this week just to sit around watching my kids ride their bikes with no time commitment, not having to be anywhere. It was (and will continue to be) fantastic.
Studies have shown that many many cancer patients had extreme stress in their lives prior to being diagnosed with cancer. Those who have shown the best recovery have taken a much more positive attitude. I really have to train myself to continue with this positive attitude and not slip back to my old self now that I'm getting back to much more normalcy and physically feeling better. I have to continue feeling mentally better and improving it!
Last note for today. Faith. I've found that my faith has become much stronger in the past two months than it's ever been. I've also learned that the faith of my friends and family who have formed my prayer warriors has been even stronger. I hope all of you who have supported me now see the fruits of your faith. Your prayers and support WORK!