HEALTH UPDATE: All good news. I had a biopsy of the tumor monster last week. I spoke with my oncologist about the results and there was NO CANCER in the tissue that was taken out. HOWEVER, there is no way to know if I am, as a whole, “cancer free”, unless the entire tumor is removed and tested. That would include the gunk in my arteries which cannot possibly be removed as it is too dangerous and remains inoperable. The rest of the tumor monster could be removed and tested. It’s a tough decision. It could turn out that it’s all dead cells in which case I’ve removed half my pancreas and my entire spleen for nothing. It could be that there are active cancer cells remaining in which case it would be very good to have them removed…but there could still be active cells in the arteries even if I had the bulk of it removed. As usual, not an easy choice but for now I’m going to hold steady, continue immunotherapy and pray I remain stable. To get to this point is beyond amazing. It is something I don’t think anyone had any realistic hope of happening. NO Cancer in a biopsy? NO tumor dna floating around in my blood? A 22 cm tumor monster decimated down to 6.5 cm? It’s quite a situation. Yay for me and YAY for science!
I won’t lie. The past several weeks have been dramatic. I’m having a hard time processing a lot of different things in my life. First and foremost, that I still have a life! Let’s tackle this extraordinary cancer situation. Is it just me or is this just unbelievable? My emotions are all over the place. Seriously! Look at my past two blog post titles. “The beat goes on” and then, “When survival isn’t enough”! My ups and downs are extreme!
I am nearly speechless when it comes to my latest test results. I really am starting to believe I could be here for a while! I haven’t been given a new prognosis. I know there really isn’t an answer for me. I’ve accepted that my case is too rare for a scientific answer and there is no crystal ball. Living day to day makes it hard to plan a future. Mostly the emotional side of things. I’d love to go for the gold and assume I’ll be fine and just deal with bad health news if and when it comes but I’m pretty sure I’ve been traumatized by all of this. I have a pretty tough protection bubble that I’ve created in my mind. It’s holding me back a bit. It’s incredible that cancer can leave a body, but can it ever leave ones mind?
If this beautiful life of mine is to continue, I’d love for it not to revolve around everything cancer. I can see that now! I can comprehend the possibility of cancer not dictating my life but it’s been hard to fully embrace this thought.
Imagine ascending from a deep dive. You can see the sun shining brightly into the water. Fingertips extended towards the light. Feet gently paddling, your body stretched long. You surface, taking in a huge breath of refreshing air. There are smiles and relief as you wait for the boat to pick you up. Treading water. It’s doable. It’s not hard but after a while you get tired. You can see the boat that you need to take you to shore, you just can’t get on it. It is not too far away but too far to swim to right now. So you keep treading. You know sharks are in the water. Will one come for you? Keep treading. Keep treading! It’s beautiful being in the water. It feels so good to be moving and to be strong with the suns warmth on your face. Cramps happen. Fears happen. You know so many fish in this water that are being harmed and killed by the shark. The feeling of helplessness and heartbreak can be overwhelming. You keep treading. You can’t pray for all the fish if you don’t keep treading. Try to make it into the boat. Don’t give up.