Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Cancer and Superstition

I remember watching baseball games on tv as a kid and firmly believing that in order for the Mets to score runs, I needed to sit on the floor. This being the Mets of the late 70s (who were even more abysmal than the Mets of 2013), they needed quality hitters not  superstitious juju to score runs and win games. But that didn't stop me from following the ritual.

A rational mind, I know, would look at superstition and scoff. Show me the scientific proof that a broken mirror produces bad luck, or knocking on wood prevents a jinx from erasing your good fortune. It just doesn't make sense.

Still, here I am with good news about my recent visit with Dr. L and I'm hesitant to write about it. And I know I'm not alone. I know many other survivors who fear that talking about how well they're doing tempts fate too much, almost inviting bad news to follow the good.  

I was reading a story recently about a Parkinson's  patient who confided in his therapist that he was constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop. His therapist told him, "You have Parkinson's. The other shoe dropped a long time ago."

Five years or five months from now, I may have to write a post that talks about how my lymphoma has returned. But that post will happen regardless of what I write today. The more I think of it, the more it seems that avoiding the positive news, or couching the positive in conditionals and wood knocking is giving in to the natural anxiety that comes with a cancer diagnosis. It puts the emphasis on all that can go wrong, instead of what's gone right. 

It's waiting for the other shoe to drop.

So I'll share the good news. After CT scans, bloodwork and an appointment with Dr. L, I remain free and clear. In fact, we are not going to do another scan for a full year. And, on top of that, the Red Sox, my adopted team since the late 80s have clinched the AL East. The Mets, on the other hand, didn't have nearly enough juju this year.

--michael