Picture this: The clinician spread the gel over my abdomen. “This might be kind of cold,” she said. It was. Next she started moving the ultrasound wand over the same area….(okay…maybe you don’t want to actually picture this!)
Somehow the experience wasn’t nearly as fun as it was when Tee was on the table and we were waiting to get our first glimpse of Kelsey or Keenan. (Yah…the title was just another cheap shot to get your attention! If you’re reading this…it worked! ) This time the ultrasound was yet another cancer screening test – which turned out to be in the “all good” category, by the way! And hey, it provided me with a catchy title for an update.
In short: Life is indeed good. Tee and I met with my oncologist on Friday. After another large blood “donation”…my tests all came back in the normal range! A really good thing. As a result, I won’t have another appointment for three months…as opposed to the monthly ones I’ve been doing. I’ll still go in for lab tests each month…but as long as the numbers stay in the normal zone….I get to skip two appointments with my oncologist! (By the way, she is an amazing physician and person….but the anxiety that builds up for each appointment is a struggle….so this is like a potential stress vacation! I know…it’s not the Caribbean, but I’ll take it. ) Oh…and she also cut back my chemo meds by 1/3. (The only downer here is that I may not glow quite as much in the dark and we may have to get a night-light again….I know, weak joke, but I figure I’m allowed.) So hey….still no cure for this type of cancer, but the meds are doing their job…and I’m thankful.
In my last update I mentioned that I was seeing a therapist for a “short time.” Hey….five months later and I’m practically on the weekly plan. This is worth a blog of its own… (we’ll see!)…but I want to mention it again in hopes that it will encourage anyone I know and love to take advantage of the great mental health opportunities that are out there. The battles we each face – whether related to something like cancer or not……can be handled. We don’t have to fight them alone in our heads….so don’t.
Even at a time of some good news on the personal front….I am only too aware that cancer continues to suck. I lost a very dear friend recently to this horrible disease. She died too soon and the world is a sadder place for it. I remember when we spent a day with her and her husband – a lifetime friend. We talked openly about cancer, our prognosis, the stress…laughing, crying and hugging. (There may or may not have been a little wine too!) I am so thankful for that time…and am reminded again that any chronic illness can become very lonely. Thinking about those who are struggling is great…but the physical contact is so very important. I will miss my friend forever…but I will also always be thankful for that day….and all the other times we shared. So….if you’ve got a friend out there who is on the struggle bus for any reason…remember the title of that beautiful Diana Ross song: Reach Out and Touch
Thanks for reading this, for asking how I’m doing, for the hugs, for supporting my family….all of it. Writing this is harder than I ever imagined, but I like to think it’s not only cathartic for me…but that it also helps others to understand cancer from the inside…and maybe even sparks some good conversations and reminds us to act on our love for each other.