Archive for March, 2013
I have been keeping this news pretty much to myself for almost two weeks now and yes I do believe it has been on purpose. We heard those incredible words YES YOU ARE IN REMISSION!!!!!! It has taken three incredibly tough years to reach this destination in this crazy unpredictable journey. Part of me still cannot believe it and I guess that selfish little part of me wanted to keep it all inside and not share because if I did tell everyone I was afraid it might leave me and not be this beautiful gift for me. I quickly have realized that this is not a gift for just myself. It is for you also. You earned it too. When I think about it in depth I think that I had the easy part in this. The chemotherapy treatments the radiation, the surgeries, the blood, the sweat, the tears, the vomiting, etc was easy. How can I say or even think this way? Quite easily actually. I really did not have a choice other than to deal with it and endure the tough stuff. You, however did have a choice. You could have ignored the situation. You could have removed yourself from dealing with any of this. But no. You ran toward me to comfort me both emotionally and physically. I am sure you had moments of sadness and grief and total helplessess when you were there with me on my worst days, yet you put on a brave face and kept me going. Even if you weren’t physically with me, I was energized by your emails, your phone calls, your greeting cards, your random actos of kindness, you prayers and the list goes on. You fuelled me. So this gift of remission is just as much yours as it is mine!!! I have always loved giving presents to those I love. This one has to be the best ever!!!!
So I ran away to the beach. I returned home late last night. The trip was booked in advance of my doctor appointment when we would receive the results of the scans post-radiation. This trip was either going to be about digging deeper within myself to continue to endure the medical treatments or it would be about celebrating. Thank you God for this trip of celebration and rejuvenation!
Where did I go? The Gulf Shores. Orange Beach, Alabama. The sugar white sand and miles of beach lined with sea shells was the destination of choice. Rick and I had visited this place last year when we drove down to Key West. I fell in love with this particular beach and because I had an angel experience there, it was a special place for me to have to re-visit at least one more time.
My Mom and my stepDad drove their fifth wheel camper down the week prior to my arrival. They were gracious enough to offer me a place to stay with them. Family time became even sweeter when I convinced my sister to join us. It took more persuading than I thought, and yes, I had to pull the “cancer card” to get her to cave in. It has been over 30 years since we went camping together or actually spent that much time together and it was wonderful. With all of them. I missed Rick and C.J. terribly but the time spent with other family members was precious to me.
Unfortunately I have arrived home with a very nasty cold/flu bug and I am totally drained so I will close this post for now. I plan to share some photos and moments of my trip with you soon.
Basically I just wanted to give you this gift of REMISSION… I hope you like the gift wrapping!
When I was at that place again earlier last week, yes the cancer clinic again I experienced as what Miss Oprah would say, an “a ha” moment.
I was there for a check up with my regular oncologist. Is that what she is regular? I don’t know maybe we should call her the main one? After that day I’m not sure anymore if any one person on my team can be defined as main or regular. We are a team. A collective group of amazing bosses here at this job of mine called living. Yes we all know that I am the big cheese and I have final say on everything, laughing out loud now, but it’s true. If I don’t say yes to life than this wonderful team will fall apart and fast. But we are not going there any time soon. I am after that huge promotion, my dream job! Kicking cancer’s ass and claiming my office back (body back). This “a ha” moment just gave me an extra kick to sit down and refresh my vision board. I feel like I’m writing with a new pen.
Sorry to ramble there again. Let me get to that moment where the light became brighter right in front of me.
There I am in the doctor’s office. I haven’t seen my regular oncologist since the end of October after I (we) decided that I was giving chemotherapy the walking papers. I had enough. I was anxious to see her to show her that I am doing okay ten weeks later. I know she knows that I haven’t kicked the bucket because she has been communicating with my radiation oncologist who I have been seeing this last month. So first I see Nurse Paul, my primary nurse now for the past 3 years. He asks me all the usual preliminary questions to help my doctor out. How are you feeling overall? Quality of life? Are you eating? Are you pooping? Are you relaxing? Are you exercising? Any new medications? Any new lumps or bumps? Any new pain? How’s the existing pain? Yes, it gets tiresome, but if I don’t answer every question honestly, then I am not arming my teammates with info that may guide further treatment. So Nurse Paul and I have our usual talk, he fills out the usual papers and then leaves the room and I am to wait for the doctor now. The door was left open this time. I pull out a magazine because I hate staring at all the medical equipment on the wall and I use the exam table as a foot rest. I make myself comfortable because sometimes I have to wait quite a while for the doctor. My Mom in the meantime is being a good girl and she is out in the main waiting area of the cancer clinic. I don’t keep anything from my Mom, but for some reason I just prefer to do these appointments alone. I am sure she understands because she never complains and after all, like I said, she knows everything anyway. I guess I hope that hearing details from me instead of from a doctor might be less stressful for her, because she can feed off of my fuck cancer tone when I explain details to her.
Some time has passed and there the moment has arrived. Not one doctor, but three doctors and Nurse Paul. They all wanted to see me and talk to me. (my main doc, my radiation doc, and the doc that I saw 3 years ago on diagnosis day that told me that I would live a long time, like 9 months or so) Insert head shaking here.
The four of them were standing side by side and outside of the room pearing into have a look at me. I was trying so hard to pay attention and answer there questions and listen to their comments that all I could do was see this sight in front of me. My main team. All of them at the same time. This has never happened. I felt goosies all the way from my toes to the top of my head. It felt important. I felt like we are making a difference. I felt that “screw cancer” mantra right to my core. I was visioning them chanting along with me. It took every bit of control not to ask to take their picture with my cell phone. I wanted proof. I wanted to make sure that this sight never escaped my mind. I still think about seeing them all together and I’m writing about it a week later. What made this moment even more special? They told me that if the radiation doesn’t work that they still have ammunition for my fight against this disease. Holy crap! We all know that this would likely be more chemo but I’m working on not having to go down that road again. Too toxic and nasty. My liver doesn’t like it. It was screaming and begging me to stop every time it couldn’t filter it and made me puke it up.
Both oncologists leave, my nurse leaves, and now it’s just me and the general practioner doctor and the door closes. Time for an exam. I lay down on the table lined with that fabulous paper and she gives my abdomen a good look over. She is surprised that my liver area looks and feels well. No skin issue from the high dose radiation and liver feels palpable. She asked also felt over my scar where the colostomy once was. (can you believe it’s been two years since I’ve had my pooper back?) I celebrate every time I go the bathroom like we were designed to. She asked me how my bowels have been moving and my answer took her by surprise I think because she broke out in laughter. I said, “on average two to three times a day and they are all Dr. Oz approved.” She replies, “I love your sense of humour” and continues examining me after she is done shaking her shoulders from laughing.
Fruits are veggies are a colon cancer patient’s best army and Dr. Oz is one of my go to guys. It feels incredible to have at least fixed that part of my cancer issue. No issues in my colon, or bowels or whatever you prefer to call them, now I just have to master my liver.
I have decided that I am going to stop using negative tones when thinking or talking about my liver now that I have learned that it is so sensitive and doesn’t have broad shoulders like me. I will treat it with the love and respect that it deserves. Instead of my stupid liver or I hate what it’s doing to me, or I wish I could just replace it with a brand new one…. I will massage it, I will ask it to let me heal it, I will give it a new mo-jo and show it that I am serious. I will nurture it and shower it with my new green veggie cancer whoop-ass juices that I make fresh and drink daily. No more bullshitting it. Let me quote my cute young friend Laura that once said “This shit is about to get real.” Of course we were talking about something entirely different at the time, but her words stuck with me.
So here is a little funny for you. My new tool, my big investment of a premium juicer has a very cool part to it. It’s a masticating juicer. Masticating sounds like a power word wouldn’t you agree? Anyway while I wash the parts after making juice, I always have a little giggle inside my head when I handle the masticater. Is it just me or does it resemble something else to you? Think a little dirty here. We all know how I am always saying fuck cancer, screw cancer. Well this thing also gives me a vision that compliments those words so perfectly. It extracts all those yummy micronutrients and vitamins from each veggie and helps me with my fuck cancer picture. I use it every day and damn it feels great! I look forward to juicing every day!
Here’s the photo to show you what I am talking about. Bonus that it’s also my favourite colour! Black. Bold and determined. And to all my male friends, let me tell you that I don’t have penis-envy. Not with this bad boy!