"No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars or sailed to an uncharted land or opened a new doorway for the human spirit" ~Helen Keller
Positivity and believing is said to be related to recovery and the human spirit. While I have definitely had moments of fear, doubt and darkness I have truly believed that I am going to be ok. I received the wonderful confirmation of this last week.
I received the results from my oncologist from my CT scan of my neck and chest as well as the PET scan results. A PET scan is used to detect cancerous cells in my body. The CT scan measures any enlargement of lymph nodes through my chest and neck area. I am thrilled to share that the PET scan shows "No abnormal hypermetabolic activity demonstrated post 3 cycles of ABVD to suggest active residual disease specifically no abnormal hypermetabolic activity at the anterior mediastinal mass."
The CT scan shows that there remains a mass in the medistinum area which lies in the middle of my chest between my heart and lungs. It has reduced to 2.8 x 4.6 x 7.4 cm. There has been significant improvement in the reduction of the mass size but more importantly is that the PET scan shows that there is no longer cancer cells in the mass. I loved the analogy used by Dr. Stevens, my oncologist.
He said the mass in my chest is like an apartment building that everyone has moved out of. We got rid of all the"riff raff", the mass is like a frame with nothing inside of it. Our job is now to burn that building down and make sure that no "riff raff" can move back in (cancer cells)
The plan is to complete all 12 treatments of chemotherapy to best ensure no chance of relapse and an eventual cure. Technically I am said to be in remission and this term will be used for the next five years as that is how long I will need to be cancer-free to be considered cured from Hodgkins Lymphoma.
So I soldier forward with my treatments. The beginning of Cycle 4 was yesterday, so 5 treatments remaining which will take me to the end of September. The side effects continue to be manageable. The fatigue is the most crippling issue that I am dealing with and the effects will be cumulative, gradually increasing as the treatments continue. I do have a considerable number of "good days" thankfully, and I am enjoying them to the fullest.
Thank you to Jason's parents for their unwavering support, and enabling us to enjoy the cottage life, being by the water has been such a rejuvenation for me. Having our dear friends Kristen and Karsten there with their boys made for the best celebration weekend after we received the news of my remission. I look forward to a week of rest, as we have my cousin Darcy's wedding this coming weekend which I aim to attend even for a small portion of the festivities. I have learned to take one day at a time, not put a lot of pressure on myself, rest when I need to and take it as it comes. The good with the bad. Knowing there is an end to this part of my journey and new ones waiting for me down the road. xoxo Love to you all.