Routine Scan Day and The Magnolia Tree

It’s the day of a scan so why not write? 

I get a scan every six months and I do blood work and see my oncologist every three months. Before I hit my year mark, I would have anxiety building from the two to three week before the scan until after I have had all the meetings and results. This is my first check up since the year mark. I have been able to keep much of my fear at bay. I am really done experiencing cancer and I am getting better at choosing to not let it have an emotional grip on me. I would like to drive the car of my life instead of feeling like I am being dragged behind it. 

What I want now from my time with cancer is wisdom. I am not interested in plowing past this chunk of time to get back to life as usual. I do not want to go backwards. I have literally been cracked wide open. I am still trying to pull my physical body back together along with my energy body, my emotional and mental self. I cannot ignore that there are so many pieces to pick up and take time to sit with and examine. As well as sitting with new parts of the story that emerge. A greater depth of my own experience along with being able to see through the eyes of others with more clarity. There is a lot of human experience to be witnessed and learned from. 

We survived stage 4 cancer. We survived cancer twice. We survived chemotherapy. We survived taking a leap of faith into the unknown. We lived our lives in the cracks and seams. Even better than all of that I feel we are finally thriving now because of it. We didn’t crash and burn. We didn’t let it take us down. It took time and a lot of work but we have definitely been able to level up because of it. I am saying this with conviction because I am not to just going to survive this, I am going to turn it into a super power. The energy of shame, pain, victimhood, judgement, fear, denial, it is all just that – energy that I create. That means with a little mental tinkering and self reflection, I could remold those balls of energy, that want to sit in me to fester and potentially create more cancer, into a super power, a skill or a positive. It is a slippery slope to turn things into positives. We call the being a Pollyanna in my house. To take things and say “It’s fine” “It’s ok” when it really isn’t. It s fine line between having your head in the sand staying positive while all the feels rumble beneath the surface, and persevering through hard experiences not holding on to illusions or negative emotions to then have positive takeaways.

I cannot afford to live any differently. My body has made that very clear. I cannot allow myself to be taken over by my emotions of fear, stress, anger and worry. My body will express her displeasure at my choices to shower her with constant stress hormones. I really enjoy living and I have things to do while I am alive. I want to think, experience, reflect, feel, enjoy, create, grow, evolve, be as human as I can possibly be. 

Every three months I sit with the feeling that this week could be the week that things change. We have lived through the tests that came back that changed our trajectory on this path to remission. In reality though that can happen every day no matter who we are. It just feels more pointed with these tests.

This morning on my walk I enjoyed my neighbors magnolia. She is beautiful and I love her every year when she is in bloom. Sometimes wind storms have blown away the blossoms too soon. Sometimes frost comes and turns the buds brown. This year they are spectacular. I was worried about the snow to come but have been reassured that it has been downgraded to rain. It’s Michigan so who knows what will happen. Today the magnolia is beautiful and healthy soaking up the sun. I peeked inside her half opened blossoms and the white petals encased the tightly bound carpels. Her smell was subtle but present. I appreciate her gift today. I think of her as I sit in the hospital drinking the drinks for the scan. She is a tree that has fared all the weather for a long time and still rises every year with her beauty in the Michigan spring that can be a fickle friend. Thank you sweet magnolia. 

I appreciate today as I will appreciate the days moving forward no matter what may come across our path. We got this.


  1. Love this, thanks for sharing! I wrote a song about Magnolia with the lines “Magnolia, Magnolia, I extol your beauty” (sung in a round). Perhaps I can share it with you once the pandemic has blown over a bit more. 🙂


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