The Reset Button

I spent most of February and March worried about breast cancer. It felt as if I had fallen down a rabbit hole and couldn’t get my bearing for the last six weeks. It turns out that what I thought was good news after my repeat mammogram, was really only the beginning of a longer, drawn out saga.

After two mammograms and two MRIs, one with a biopsy, I finally received the all clear. But during that time I was lost in limbo land. Did I or didn’t I have breast cancer? What was showing up on the tests? And why do they need to do a biopsy in the MRI machine? It is bad enough to have 12 core samples removed from my (now black and blue) breast, but in and out of a closed MRI to a claustrophobic person adds insult to injury.

Instead of focusing on the roller coaster of fear, I am embracing the sweet relief a benign diagnosis brought to me, my family and my friends. The ‘all clear’ diagnosis is a reset button for how I want to live my life. Frankly anyone one of us is each just one diagnosis away from all sorts of medical disasters. We can’t control the length of our lives, but we have some control over how we spend it.

This is a lesson I keep learning over and over again. It was mine for a while after I survived cancer in my mid 20’s. I learned it again when my husband had cancer 19 years ago (this month!). And I learned again a 1 ½ years ago from my accident, from which I am still recovering. None of this makes me unique. Many friends and loved ones have had their own medical/life-death adventures. We are all learning similar life lessons, gained from the heartbreak and pain of loss and recovery.

For whatever time left to me — hopefully many more decades — I want my life to be of my making, on my own terms. I want to spend my time doing things that light up my life, bring a smile to my face and makes my heart soar.

I dodged a bullet this time, but I know that next time I might not be so lucky. This time I came to a place of acceptance. If life is short or long, I want to laugh too loud, take up lots of space, make more mistakes, apologize with an open heart and love fiercely. Bottom line is that I have had a great life, with many, many things and people to which and to whom I am most grateful!

So in honor of my recent healthy diagnosis and the 32nd anniversary of being free of cancer, I publicly renew my commitment to spending time doing the activities that I find fulfilling with friends and family who share laughter and joy and love while living.

Who’s with me?

 



As a blogger, I enjoy sharing my ideas and thoughts with people, and I get a special thrill when someone leaves a comment. When you share my posts on social media sites, I jump up and down doing a happy dance. So thank you!

21 thoughts on “The Reset Button

    1. Heidi BK Sloss Post author

      Love the image of your celebrating. Picture me along side of you singing and dancing and wagging my tail with you!

      Reply
    1. Heidi BK Sloss Post author

      Thanks for coming along with me as we find our way through this crazy adventure we call life!

      Reply
  1. Beth Weisberg

    SO happy to hear it turned out well in the end, dear Heidi. But ever so sorry you had to go through all that preceded the all-clear. Thank you for sharing your story — and the learnings that came from it. Hugs to you.

    Reply
    1. Heidi BK Sloss Post author

      Thank you for posting your response. Not what I had planned for these past 6 weeks, but am glad to be on the other side and hopefully get to enjoy my renewed sense of presence and adventure.

      Reply
    1. Heidi BK Sloss Post author

      Absolute yea! And to be declared healthy in time for sunshine and srping is a double extra bonus!

      Reply
  2. Luanne

    What a stressful couple of months you have endured! I am so happy for you that the end result is a positive one – a beautiful relief for you and your family. I have been on a sort of ‘freedom from fear’ search for the last year or so. After my mom died, the reality of impermanence has been the focus of my attention, but not in the awesome way it should be. When I am coming from a place of love and trust, the impermanence of life motivates me to do all those wonderful things I want to do and really feel the gratitude. But when I’m coming from fear, I jump from zero to catastrophe very quickly. Everything scares me. I recently had a lab test come back mildly low and my doctor isn’t even slightly worried, but I already have myself with an impending terminal diagnosis, and I am preoccupied with what the re-check labs are going to be. The truth is, however, if (when?) they come back fine, I will most likely find the next thing to obsess about and be afraid of. Unless…and this is my point…I embrace the kind of attitude you describe in your post – living with acceptance and the freedom it brings to be light and silly and really see the daily miracles that are happening all around me. Thank you for sharing this with all of us, and YAY for no cancer!

    Reply
    1. Heidi BK Sloss Post author

      Thank you for your thoughtful comments! It is hard to keep from allowing the fear/terror to take over our nervous systems and lives. Being your yoga buddy helps a lot–thank goodness for a great local yoga shala in which to find my way in and out and back in balance. Someday I hope to fully be able to embrace acceptance, no matter what the possible outcomes, but for now I am happy to have found it in bits and pieces through this latest scare. a few things got me through: The love and acceptance I received from the few I shared my news with, being on the yoga mat as often as possible and educating myself to all the possible options and outcomes. Knowing what might come to pass helped calm me down, even knowing the scary possibilities helped. Good luck with your recent medical ‘adventure’ and I hope it unravels just right for you!

      Reply
    1. Heidi BK Sloss Post author

      Glad to have you along with me–miss reading your posts and feeling your presence online. Hope you have a glorious spring!

      Reply
  3. Karen Korman

    Relief does not begin to explain our feelings on this – looking forward to sharing more wonderful occasions together in the next very exciting up coming year.

    Reply
    1. Heidi BK Sloss Post author

      Thank you, the relief feels so wonderful. Am excited to see you in Vienna this summer! And then in DC in October and Syracuse in November! Life is too short not to take the time and opportunity to get together.

      Reply
    1. Heidi BK Sloss Post author

      Thank you Lorrie–what a wild couple of months this has been. But I am now finally cleared and good to go!

      Reply
  4. Cindy Bailey

    Hi, Heidi –
    How really awful to have been in that hole again, but I love the grace and insight from which you got out of it. It is a good reminder to all of us to live fully now, because now is all that we are guaranteed. Thank you for your brave post.

    Reply
    1. Heidi BK Sloss Post author

      Thank you Cindy. You and your family certainly seem to be fully embracing living in the here and now with your amazing trip around the world! Inspirational!

      Reply

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