Oh, the difference a year makes. I find myself reflecting on how much has changed in just a year. I am thankful and hope-filled.
Reflections on the past year
As I reflect on what has changed in this past year, it is significant.
Last year I attended this conference knowing I would be going home to start my second round of chemotherapy. We had done the scans and found my metastases’ had started to grow. Dr. Saroha and I had made plans, the schedule was set, and I knew the path that lay before me.
As I met this group of people for the first time, I had to share that I was unsure how long I would be able to participate in the program. My future was unclear as I thought about the loss of energy and how my body would respond to chemotherapy.
Looking back God was very gracious, and I always had the energy necessary to continue to participate in the program. The times of learning and fellowship have been very important to me.
Four months in
I will meet with my cohort tomorrow morning. When we gather together this year, I am beginning the fourth month of a break from chemo. I completed the eight-plus months of treatment and have enjoyed a few months chemo free.
Almost easy to forget
My energy level is returning. I am at this dangerous place where I look good, I feel good, and it is almost easy to “forget” that I have cancer. While I can never truly “forget” that I have cancer, I begin to move as if it is a thing of the past. When this happens, it is only a matter of days before my body revolts and reminds me that I am not the person I once was. I need naps; I need to pace myself, I need to stay hydrated.
2019 is beginning in a very different way than 2018 did! I am thankful for the way I have experienced healing and blessing in my life.
I am also hope-filled. The last time I took a break from chemotherapy my break ended up lasting just about thirteen months. At this point, I am only on month four. I hope that I see similar results again this time. Dr. Saroha would be quick to point out that there is nothing that guarantees or even hints that this would be the case. My body responds to each treatment, each break in a different way and I simply need to be at peace with that. I fight to remain hope-filled and realistic all at the same time.
The way I am looking at it, I could remain chemotherapy free through the end of the summer, and maybe even longer. That sounds very good to me. I also know that should I need to resume treatment Nancy and I have walked this journey twice, we can do it again. What I am about to say may sound strange, but resuming treatment would give me an opportunity to catch up with my nurses. I do miss them when I am not going to visit them a couple of times each week.
Sitting in my room, reflecting on how different 2019 is from 2018 I cannot help but be thankful for my health and renewed strength.
Scans on the horizon
I have scans coming up later this month that will give me a sense of how my break is progressing. If these come back “unremarkable,” showing no signs of tumor growth then we will stretch the break-even longer.
As soon as I get results from those scans, I will share them with you. Thank you for your prayers, thank you for your love, thank you for walking with my family along this journey.