Cancer Report Card Day!
Wednesday, July 16, was “Cancer Report Card Day.” We trooped into Dr. Lim’s waiting room at the appointed hour and proceeded to cause a serious seating shortage. My entourage filled seven of the available chairs. We waited about a half hour before a nurse appeared. She informed us that the doctor had been called away to an emergency surgery and suggested that we might want to reschedule. Of course, we filled her in on the fact that my family would be departing to their homes in other states the following morning and that they had come to share my “Cancer Report Card Day” with me. The nurse agreed to call us as soon as the doctor returned and suggested that we might want to go off to eat lunch. Was she attempting to reclaim some of the space we were utilizing? Having planned to eat a celebratory lunch at one of our favorite restaurants, “Taste of India,” we decided to eat and celebrate before receiving the news. I was planning on remission anyway, but we were eager to have our beliefs and hopes confirmed.
The nurse called just as we were being served, so we enjoyed our food at a rapid pace, filled take out cartons and rushed back for my delayed appointment.
Having made previous arrangements for a conference room, we were ushered into the largest available small space. After a bit of a scramble, enough chairs were procured just as Dr. Lim arrived. He was very efficient and serious as he filled us in on the PET/CT scan report. We had an overwhelming urge to cheer when he informed us that I had “NED” (No Evidence of Disease) and in remission! He told us not to cheer yet and proceeded to lay out all the cautions and ongoing treatment options. Yes, the type of cancer I had was very persistent and very likely to return. As far as treatment options, I could proceed with life with no intervention other than a checkup every 3 months, I can have an immediate “look around surgery” to insure that there is absolutely nothing lurking, and follow that with some sort of peritoneal chemo if indicated. The surgery would have a much larger incision than my hysterectomy and would require another long recovery. If nothing were discovered, it would all be for naught and I would miss our trip to Walla Walla and Mom’s wedding as well as our trip to Florida in October. I chose to live my life and move on.
So we allowed him his say and then proceeded to softly cheer when he stepped out for a moment. I announced that my remission will be ongoing for at least 20 years…wait, make that 25 years.
The long term prognosis and cautions only serve to help me strive for quality of life and relationships for as long as I live. Every moment will be filled with love, joy, and the making of precious memories with whomever I am with from moment to moment. Dakota and I have so much time to make up for and an already overflowing repertoire of memories to add to!
I was so grateful to have family members and Don, my step dad-to-be, with me to help celebrate! We hung out at our place for the evening and said final good-byes as each family member departed.
Much to my great joy, my brother, Dave, was able to stay through Sunday. He departed on Monday morning. My family and Dakota made me feel very loved and cared for.
There are yet a few updates to follow.