Friends and family,
We have reason to celebrate! It has now been EIGHT YEARS since I was first diagnosed with cancer, and THREE YEARS since I was re-diagnosed. We are ecstatic!
It's hard to believe that this journey has gone on this long, and harder yet to comprehend how I'm still above the ground after all this time. I'm bursting with gratitude and full of appreciation for my good fortune. Little did I know when I went down the rabbit hole eight years ago that I would still be around this much later to tell the tale. And the tale is not over, because I’m still looking down at the grass instead of up!
I met with my oncologist today, and again there is no news one way or the other. I'll have a CT scan in another month, and then I'll have something tangible to share. Meanwhile, no news is good news.
As for the intangibles, I'm feeling great again. After living in my fears for a few weeks and talking through them, I've come out the other side. I believe this last (of many) rounds of fear was triggered by a couple of externals.
First, Genevieve's dad Walt died in May. (Remember the story about Walt's Woody and Celebrity?) This follows on the heels of the loss of my stepfather Vince last September. Both were men that I loved and were very important in my life. They were also the last in our families from that generation. There are now no more generations between us and the great beyond. That, combined with the loss of these two loved ones, rattled my already-shaky sense of immortality.
The next Scare Factor was settling in with a new oncologist. The last oncologist I trusted with my life, but I hadn't totally bonded with the new guy yet. Would he do back flips to uncover every possible option if or when Tarceva stopped working?
So how do I get to a point of trust with the new guy?
I don't want to spend my time looking up promising treatments on the internet, because the more time I spend doing that, the more I worry about if/when this one could fail me. I want to live life rather than obsess about what could go wrong, but on the other hand I need to know that someone has my back.
I got through this by asking the new guy these two questions:
1. If this treatment stops working, what would your next step be, based on the current options?
2. If I ever need a second opinion, who would you recommend that I see that you respect, and that has a different perspective than your own?
I got comforting answers to both of those questions, so the new guy gets a name. Say hello to Dr. Cetnar.
Not only that, but Genevieve has been pumping me up lately. She's telling me that my breathing sounds better than it has sounded since before I started Tarceva 15 months ago. She CLAIMS that my hair is even turning darker again. Yes, now I'm being told that Tarceva is the fountain of youth! I'm not sure I buy that, but then again, I DO have those Tarceva pimples now...
I hope you're enjoying these beautiful summer days, and, like me, saving your worries for another day.