A shark swims ominously om the ocean, stock photo provided by AmandaKulpStock on Deviantart

I see my oncologist at the end of the August 2019. It has been about three months since my last chemotherapy session. It has been about two months since my last radiation session. That time between my last radiation and this meeting coming up is unbearable when it comes to stress. That is the meeting where I will be told “yes, you are in remission” or “no, we need to treat you more”.

Waiting for this appointment, I feel like I am in the ocean. I am swimming away from a shark. The shark is of unknown size and I have no idea how big or small it is. Cancer is a shark because it completely annihilates you. I am saying that as someone who loves sharks.

If I am told I am in remission, that means I still have to see my oncologist once every few months. It means that I will need to be monitored very closely because the first five years are the most dangerous time for cancer survivors. Cancer (in some shape or form) is most likely to pop up within those five years after that initial meeting of them saying you are in remission. Thankfully, my oncologist stated that my specific type of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma only has about a 20% chance of coming back. My radiologist stated that my breast cancer risk went up from 10% to about 14% due to the nature of where they radiated my chest.

I do my best to keep myself busy to not think about it. I am currently taking online classes to help make myself look better in the professional world. However, that doesn’t stop the shark from lingering in the back of my mind.

I’m a queer adopted healthcare worker who writers in their spare time. I have a MPH degree.