Tomorrow is D day for me. It’s been two years since my last scans. I know one day those suckers are going to wake up again and the clock will start ticking. My life will be in the hands of karma and my higher power.
In 2009 I was diagnosed with lung cancer. I have 3 tumors in the nucleus of my lung. They gave me a year to live in summer of 2010 not long after my husband died. It was terrifying as hell and I was traumatized. I went home and cried. The next day I told myself that if that’s all I had left, I wasn’t going to sit and feel sorry for myself. No more crying. Only positive thoughts and living every minute that was left.
The tumors went from 3 millimeters to 8.5 and 9 in just 5 months. The reality was all too real but I wasn’t about to give up. I had some days that were really hard. I had to find someone willing to take my kids and fill out 2 wills. One for the cancer center and one kept with my important paperwork. I had to put a death clause in my house insurance so the kids would always have a place to live. The list went on. Since I was all alone in this world ( at least it felt that way) I had to plan my own funeral. One of the hardest things I have ever had to do.
I was going to have one last appointment to have my scans redone and a full work up of my labs. I went back in October and the one had grown to 10 millimeters. My treatment was scheduled to start in early December. I was devastated.
When I went for my pre-treatment appointment in December things got a bit strange. They did all of the labs and x-rays. They came back in and said the needed to do another x-ray and the super x-ray. I got extremely nervous. After waiting 45 minutes for the results, it was time to hear the news and schedule treatments.
My doctor started asking me a bunch of weird questions finally after about 10 minutes, I couldn’t stand it and told him to just cut to the shit, get it over with. Once again, I was reminded that even after treatment, the odds would be over an 85% chance the cancer would return at some point and that would be what killed me. I finally broke down and cried. I had heard this everytime I had an appointment. It was the ball breaker. The time was here. Reality check.
We started talking about med changes and he eliminating some of them. I couldn’t believe it. Take me off now?! Really?! When the list was gone through, the doc excused himself again and said he wanted another doctor come in. I just knew it was going to be the double team. I was freaking out inside.
A few minutes later he came back in with a very baffled look on his face. Then came the news. He began with you know, you are the first patient in Utah to hear these words. He told me that tumors in the lung do not shrink ever but somehow, mine were back to 3.5 millimeters. He had been a specialist for 20 years and was just amazed at my case. We talked about the things I had been doing to care myself other than my meds. I replied that the only thing I had done was stay positive, enjoy life and wished like hell they’d go away. Amazingly they came pretty damn close.
He continued to go on and tell me that even though I was excited, I needed to remember that eventually, treatment would come and eventually death because I did in fact have active tumors. He told me that I needed a yearly scan and that my immune system would be a compromised some so I would have to be careful around people who were sick. Especially with colds or pnuemonia. I was dying to get out of there. I asked him are you finished talking now? He said yeah I will see you in 6 months – not a year quite yet. As soon as he finished that statement, I grabbed my coat and ran down the hall. As I ran past the nurses station I looked back and told them that they wouldn’t be seeing me again. I couldn’t get out of there fast enough. I believe I was a little excited.
Even though it was December, I put the top down on the car and stood on the seat screaming the happiest scream I have ever heard come out of my mouth. Then I cried all of the way home. That night after hugging my kids and putting them to bed, I realized what kind of miracle had just happened. I sat there in quiet for hours just being grateful to my higher power and whatever else had a role in this. I was indeed a walking miracle.
For 3 years I had a very compromised immune system. At one point I pneumonia for 7 months but my scans kept coming back unchanged. Year 4, there was a .5 millimeter increase in the one tumor. Instead of panicking, I went right back to trying to wish to them away. In 2016 I had a great year physically than I had for years. In 2017 I had a rough time for a while, but still no new growth. In 2018 physically, I had the best year since July of 2009.
I skipped last year…I have been battling to not get sick and have had a weaker immune system for almost a year now. Tomorrow, I go do all of the scans and labs. For some reason, I feel very nervous this time. Maybe I’m just paranoid because I know one day, those words will be said again and it will be for real. For now, I have been staying positive and hoping for the best but, in 17 short hours the time will be here and the answer here once again.
That’s my first and most scary time with cancer. I have beat the others. Hoping for the same result at least for now. Thus the reason we shouldn’t take things for granted. I have taken things for granted all too much. I need to take my own advice and quit wasting it. Time is a very precious gift.
More Love. Less Hate. H