Friday, May 1, 2015

don't give up, you've got a reason to live. can't forget, we only get what we give...

Today, May 1, marks my one year "cancerversary". It's a little bit hard for me to wrap my brain around the fact that 1) this even happened at all and 2) I spent 7 of the last 12 months completely bald. Was that really me? Did I really lose every last eyelash? Sometimes I think it was all a dream.

is this real life?

When I blogged after my mastectomy I reported to you that my body had a PCR (pathological complete response) to the chemo, which is what my doctor told me. About an hour after I posted that blog, however, I started to have doubts about what she told me because of some of the research I had done. Why was she so confident that all the cells were gone? How could she possibly know? Then it dawned on me. She probably didn't remember that we had removed my tumor in a lumpectomy before chemo had even started. Before we even knew it was cancer. She was thinking that the chemo had gotten rid of it, instead of the knife.

I allowed these thoughts to consume me for about a week. I had a follow up appointment with my surgeon, who said she would ask my oncologist and report back to me. No answer. I asked the nurse practitioner, who said she would ask my Dr. and report back to me. Again no answer. So I decided to forget about it until my 3 month follow up. The appointment came in April, and yes, she had forgotten about the lumpectomy, but it hardly seems to matter anymore. PCR or not, there are no guarantees.

Nothing can take away the good news we received which was that there were zero cancer cells left in my tissue or lymph nodes that they were able to get to. But are there cancerous cells in the lymph node they couldn't get to? Specifically the one that glowed hot on the PET scan last summer? Or somewhere else remote in my body, lurking? We can't know, until we know.... so no news is good news. Truly.

Over the past year, I've met many new friends who are in similar situations. Some of them have gotten great news at the end of treatment, and others have gotten not so great news. It is sobering. More and more I am reminded that I have no control over this disease. We do everything we can to beat it, but in the end, the cancer is going to do it's thing. Sometimes chemo works and sometimes it doesn't. When it doesn't work, it doesn't mean you didn't fight hard enough. It means that cancer sucks.

When Stuart Scott died earlier this year, his speech from the ESPY's was all over the internet. The only sports I watch are Texas Tech football (and we don't make ESPN very often...), so I wasn't very familiar with him or the fact that he had cancer. I love love love that speech though.

cool as the other side of the pillow

What a legacy. If there is one thing cancer has taught me, it's to live a joyful life. No more fear of the unknown. No more stressing about trivial matters. No more worrying about things that may or may not happen... it simply isn't worth it. Choose joy. Choose love. Choose forgiveness. Build others up rather than tear down. Start from within, and the rest will fall into place.

basking in a gardening high, 51 weeks after cancer. y'all should have seen how awesome my new hair looked when I took off the headband..... it was all Bride of Frankenstein up in here.
I can't say if I will continue to blog or not. Seems I have less to say these days. Although, there may come a time when I decide to pick it up again... we will see. Until then, thanks for dancing with me.

Love y'all oh so much.

1 comment:

  1. Jessica, you and Nicky Gumbel are thinking similarly today; "Don't cry over the past, it's gone. Don't stress over the future, it hasn't arrived. Live in the present and make the most of every day. "