Sunday, December 23, 2012

A Very Merry Christmas, Indeed

I have known, for nearly 10 days now, the results of my followup PET scan — THE scan that tells us whether the 30 days of external radiation, five chemotherapy injections and four internal radiation treatments effectively eradicated those pesky cancer cells that were wreaking havoc on my cervix and uterus, as well as my iliac and para-aortic lymph nodes.

The verdict? A resounding annihilation. No trace anywhere. Not in my pelvic region, not in my lymph nodes, not in any part of my body where a PET scan might pick up clusters of cells behaving badly. I have triumphantly kicked cancer in its bitch face!

Our journey certainly isn’t over, but I have a feeling the worst of it is. The next two years will include a series of quarterly pap smears, beginning March 2013. Apparently there is debate on whether to be scanned again, but my doctors recommended yearly scans just to keep an eye on it. So that’s what we’ll do.

Our future quarterly San Francisco visits will be bundled into “weekends” that just happen to include a doctor’s appointment. I refuse to let a pelvic exam (shocker included) be the major event of our trips to the great City by the Bay, when there are so many great culinary experiences to be had!

I think, because I’ve known for so long and have had a chance to digest the news, this post is probably lacking the life-affirming exuberance I’ve felt over the last couple of weeks. I don’t know how else to explain it, other than a very deep, ingrained feeling that I’ve been given the opportunity to live my life with greater purpose, with less abandon, to say “yes” to any opportunity and to not fear the unknown—not THE unknown, though, yes, I am a lot less afraid of that. But I am certainly less afraid of getting or being hurt, of embarrassing myself, of trying something because the outcome might be less than stellar.

This awareness has been the best Christmas gift I could possibly hope for. I have a feeling 2013 will be our best year yet. Cheers to our friends, family and community who have been a part of this journey right along with us. Thank you for the hope and strength that helped me power through. Here’s to an even more kickass 2013.


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