Wednesday was by far the biggest day that I’ve had since I met my oncologist 6 years ago.
When I first walked in I was a little nervous. This was not already scheduled and I had not seen her since my latest diagnosis.
Now, just a little backstory, I have been diagnosed 3 times with cancer. This latest time was found during routine scans. When I got the call and was told cancer was found again, I was FLOORED. I mean, who expects to get that phone call when you are 5 years in the clear? Literally, several weeks prior, I received my very first mammogram results that said no evidence of cancer. I was so happy, I cried when I read it because I had never heard that before. To hold that piece of paper meant a great deal. I called family, I even posted the good news on facebook, LOL I still have that letter.
2 weeks later, I get a phone call 2 set up a biopsy.
1 week after that, I get another phone call...cancer.
Now, I am two months out from my latest 2 surgeries and still dealing with a lot of continued pain.
Okay, cut back to this past Wednesday. I walk into my oncologist’s office, and speak to patients waiting to be seen, catch up with the staff that I haven’t seen in awhile and prepare myself for what may happen. It doesn’t matter how much I love the people there or how far out from chemo I am, there’s something about knowing why you’re there and who you’re there to see that will always be a bit scary.
I picked up a magazine and sat down when my husband joined me. I don’t know why I was a little surprised to see him. He doesn’t let me face anything alone. He has been with me through every step of this journey. He lays down beside me, when I am tired, and kicks my butt along if I try to sit too long. That man is a force in my life and I thank God for putting him in my path.
We sat there for a bit working on a puzzle because I was a little anxious. “Angie.” My name is called and after doing the dreaded weight test, it’s time to go back.
We laugh and talk a lot while we wait for my oncologist to come in. Once she does, there are two back-to-back codes on patients undergoing treatments that pull her away and prolongs my wait in the room.
Everything looks great, I will not have to do chemo for this latest diagnosis. Then says the absolute best thing that I’ve ever heard her say...I think it's time to move you out to a year!! Yes, a year!!
For 6 years, I have wanted to hear those words. I know it sounds crazy, but in June, she was going to put me to yearly visits, but she held back. A month later I was diagnosed with cancer again. For me, a year means that she is feeling confident that cancer is not a major worry at this time. It means that I have 365 days of living life without another appointment. It means I can stop holding my breath every few months when it’s time for scans, lab work, or an appointment. It means that I am as close to being normal as I was before 2003. No, it’s not perfect, I’ve never been told I was cancer free, never been told that I’m cured, or that I won’t get cancer again. But what I do have is a year. A year to live, enjoy and celebrate. A year FREE from appointments and reminders. A year for me to live not as a cancer patient, but as, well...as me.