Wow!!! It's almost been two years since I last updated my blog! So much has happened. Too much to pick up where I left off! But in a way...I'm kind of where I left off in November of 2010.
Apparently I'm in remission...AKA Cancer Free. Whatever that means! What does remission really mean? Well...I didn't know either. So I did what any American would do...I googled it! Seems as though someone in remission has no sign of cancer anywhere in their body and is no longer being treated for cancer. So I guess I technically fall under that category.
Once you've had cancer you are never free from cancer. My therapist said it best...and I keep going back to this in my mind. Cancer is a chronic condition that you can only stay one step ahead of. That being said, I in no way feel as if I'm cancer free for the long run. Maybe for the time being, but not in
the long term.
Today was my first day back in the real world after receiving the "good news" yesterday. I've had many hugs and more congratulations than you can imagine! And it makes me FEEL like a million dollars! But how I feel and how I think are two different things.
First of all....I've been here before and I've been burned. From June 15, 2010 when I had my last real chemo treatment until July 17, 2011 when I was told there was a spot on my lung, to Sept 16,2011 when it was confirmed that it was cancer I thought I was done with all of this. I was happier than ever before. Felt better than ever before. Had a new outlook on life. Felt like I had been through all of that to learn what is really important in life.
Then the magic carpet that I created in my mind was pulled out from under me when I woke up from the most painful surgery of all on September 16, 2011 to hear that the spot in my lung was indeed cancer.
So fast forward to yesterday. CT scan and PET scan show no significant changes from the previous scans. I can come off of this chemo pill that I've been on for a full year. No more trips to Greenville every six weeks for blood work. No more "night time pill" that makes me gain weight at a rapid rate but helps with the side effects of the chemo pill. Everything is lovely again, right???
Not so much. Don't get me wrong. I'm happy to have this moment, however long it lasts, of being cancer free. I'll take it and be thankful for it. But I can't let myself get too carried away with the good news and have the possibility of being in the same position as last year about this time...when my whole world changed yet again and I was so wrapped up in my own positive thoughts that I never saw it coming!
So what do I do to keep from being too delusional?
First of all I must keep telling myself that cancer is a disease. A chronic disease that I need to stay one step ahead of. And that doesn't just mean prevention. It means preparation. I need to be prepared for good news as well as bad news for the rest of my life.
I also need to make short term plans...not long term ones. At this point I am not thinking any further ahead than 12 weeks...which is when my next scan is. I can't logically make plans for Easter or next summer without getting through the next 12 weeks first.
I absolutely HAVE to enjoy every second of the next 12 weeks!!! I can't put off having fun or doing things that I've always wanted to do because who knows what I might be up against in 12 weeks.
So there's an update. You may see it as doom and gloom or a lack of faith but I see it as practical and logical. And that is my comfort zone. So I will continue to be grateful for the good news, however, I will maintain a logical approach to this whole "cancer free" thing.
Thank you for your continued support!!!