What power could a nagging, dull, ache in your hip have? Plenty. And while this power remains, I can pleasantly report it has taken a giant step back into my memory where it occupies a place that is more awareness than fear. This power was connected to the unknown, and where there was once fear, there now resides an awareness of my confidence to deal with the unknown.
My most recent scare gets the label of “good” for highlighting a transition I have made from fear to confident awareness.
The pre-test anxiety has always fluctuated for me. Higher when I’m not taking good care of myself, lower when I am. Practice doesn’t just make perfect, it builds confidence. Everyday is your practice for your health.
In the nine-plus years since my second transplant, I haven’t had any health concerns “of unknown origin,” until June of last year. The nagging hip pain combined with an irregular but frequent burning in my abdomen changed that. It prompted investigation: lots of blood work, an MRI, and some specialist appointments. That investigation—while fortunately revealing the desired “nothing” about my physical health—proved that my emotional health is solid and ready for any health challenge, though that is not an invitation for one!
The process of having serious investigation was a reminder of how far I’ve come and how quickly things can change. It also brought the gift of knowing how I would react, and more importantly, how I’d feel should I have to face a return to my hockey game with cancer.
The feeling I had the night before getting my results remains within me today. A feeling of confidence, not necessarily in my health, but in my ability to restore it should the need arise. This confidence faded—even largely disappeared—for a long time after my relapse in 2001. I have worked on this restoration but not until this recent, and most significant test did I know where I stood.
It was a good scare for me to get at an important stage of my life. As I mentioned, cancer was easier for me in many ways when I was single. Being a dad puts any potential cancer challenges on a whole new level compared to my previous experiences as a single guy in his early twenties. I was never quite sure how I’d react if I had to deal with cancer again; I now know that my confidence to deal with whatever lies ahead of me and my family is sky high.
I take a lot of credit for that as I’ve made a big-time effort to get stronger, enhance my health and take care of all of me. I take “practice” seriously. A special thank you to my good scare for shedding light on my confidence.
Live life. Love life.