Good News

As you can probably guess from the title of the post, the results of my PET/CT scan were good. The cancer on my vertabrae has shrunk and there were no new spots of cancer detected. It was a huge sigh of relief as the doctor walked into the room on Monday and announced “The report looks good.” I think I physically felt my blood pressure lower as soon as he spoke. So, the treatment plan will remain the same for now. I will stay on the anti-hormonal drug tamoxifen and continue to get infusions of pamidronate every three months.

Dr. H. said I would not need to return for 3 months and we won’t do another scan for 6 months unless I have new symptoms or something shows up in my blood work. I had two simultaneous reactions to this. One…..”woohooo, I don’t have to come back for three months!”  Two…..”what do you mean I’m not coming back for three months?” Obviously, relief and panic at the same time. It will be great to have a break, but then again, there is a certain security in being seen monthly. It’s funny how attached you become to your doctors when dealing with illness. You love them and hate them at the same time.

There is also the feeling that as long as I’m going in once a month, I’m actively fighting the disease. I’m doing everything I’m supposed to, listening to my doctors, exploring all of the possible treatments, outcomes, etc. Just waiting for 3 months, leaves me feeling like I’m not doing enough. Can I really go back to living my life without cancer being my first priority? I guess we’ll see.

I have started to make plans for the future. This too is both exciting and scary. We booked a vacation for Spring Break next year. Since we aren’t traveling far this summer due to surgery, cancer, wildfires, and now an elbow injury for Nick, a cruise over Spring Break will give me something to look forward too. At the same time, there are the many “what ifs” that invade my blissful thoughts of warm sand between my toes and a frozen pina colada in my hand. What if my next scan isn’t so good? What if I can’t go on the trip? What if I get sick on the trip? I know……if it can possibly happen, it has crossed my mind. I suppose this is what trip insurance is for!

Believe it or not, I am getting better at letting go. It may not seem like it, but as the days and months go by, I am learning to accept my situation and live my life in spite of it. In fact, I think I am more appreciative of the everyday joys and activities that many, including myself, tend to take for granted. I’m determined to make the most out of whatever time I have left. Little things that used to annoy me, no longer do. I guess it’s a “don’t sweat the small stuff” type attitude. Let’s just hope I can carry that attitude back to work with me next month!

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