Wednesday, November 12, 2014

I am a Survivor!

"Worry doesn't empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength."

The worrying is over. We are celebrating and rejoicing here at the Low house today. I had an appointment in Hamilton today to have a consultation with a radiation oncologist. I was relieved and happy to learn that my PET scan results from last week indicate that there is no active disease and the scan is negative for cancer cells! In Dr Sagar's opinion, the costs definitely outweigh the benefits in my treatment plan to proceed with a course of radiation, and he feels with close monitoring that I am on the road to recovery. With my stage 2 diagnosis, a lack of risk factors and how well I have responded to chemotherapy he also feels I have a very slim chance of relapse! We could not be more happy, relieved, over-joyed and blessed.

I kept looking at Jason and saying "it's over". This chapter of my cancer journey is truly over and for that I am grateful. I have an appointment on Friday with Dr. Stevens as there are still counts in my bloodwork that need close monitoring, and I will need to see him every 3-4 weeks for a few months. I am looking forward to focusing on my recovery now instead of worrying about all the negative possibilities.

Thank you for all the support from my beloved friends and family, particularly this past week.  I have really relied on you to lift me up, cheer me on and reassure me. Thank you for your patience. Stay tuned for Celebration details!!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Reflections Post Chemotherapy

This weekend I was skimming through my husband Jason's phone looking for a picture he took of my friend Kristen and I to email to her. I came across this picture and immediately choked back tears. I had no idea that Jason had taken this picture on my last treatment in September as I was sleeping. That one picture brings back so many memories and even though it is now 7 weeks ago since my last treatment, it also seems like yesterday. Jason came with me to almost every treatment and I can't imagine what it must have been like for him to see his wife so sick, so tired and at times in pain. I asked him why he took the picture and he said, I just looked so peaceful and really couldn't explain the why. We both blinked back tears looking at each other because words didn't need to be spoken that describe what we have been through together. 7 weeks later, I am so happy to share that I am feeling really great. I am beginning to see a change in my energy levels and stamina. The days of nausea, aches and severe fatigue are in a thing of the past. Much like the pains of labour that we have stories to tell about, the actual feelings fade away thankfully. While I am nowhere near back to "normal", I have many moments where I can forget what I have been through and find myself laughing and smiling and enjoying my family and life.

I live with constant anxiety that I am getting better at pushing to the back of my mind and not letting it overtake my everyday thoughts. Since I am still waiting for the results of the PET scan last week, my anxiety is running rather high these days. I jump when the phone rings, check for messages and feel that I am living a bit on edge - waiting. I have my appointment Wednesday in Hamilton with the radiation oncologist and perhaps I will have to wait until then to hear that I am still in remission and cancer-free as that is the outcome to expect and hope for.

In looking at this picture, I see how far I have come in 7 weeks. My hair is starting to grow back, I am feeling better every day and I know that I will be able to get through the next phase whether it includes radiation or not. As I said before, my track record of getting through hard times is pretty good, 100%.