Tuesday, October 21, 2008

It Really Is Gone

I received an email reply from Dr. Allerton today and he ordered me to post-pone my chemotherapy for another week, so that I can get over this cold. Part of me is absolutely thrilled that the chemo has been postponed again. Any day I don't experience the side effects of chemotherapy is a good day. And I will try to enjoy my chemo-free time without too much guilt.

Yeah. I find myself feeling a little guilty because I am so thrilled to be free of the chemo side-effects. Then, I give myself permission to enjoy this temporary break from chemo. There's plenty of chemo drugs available to me as soon as I feel better.

And, it's been nearly three weeks now and I still don't feel so great. The chemo definitely impacted my ability to bounce back from the cold. I'm crossing my fingers that this cold breaks soon. The chemo has to be out of me - at least significantly enough so that I can get past this nonsense.

I'm also grateful that my body was determined to be free of any traceable cancer. That makes it a little easier to not do the chemo at the moment. It's not like the cancerous tumor is still in me.

Man. That just made me burst into tears. I still can't believe it's gone. That stinking little tumor just wouldn't die. Well, not the way I wanted it to. Eventually it did die. But that's not what brings tears to my eyes. What brings tears to my eyes is that it really is gone.

Sometimes it's eerily quiet in my mind. I spent 17 months wondering if it was going to get worse - if I was going to get terrible news after a scan - waking up and remembering I had cancer - scared of the worst case scenario. I don't have those thoughts anymore. And on occasion I realize that is one of the things that is different from the way it was before. No more terrifying thoughts - a huge reason for all the quiet in my mind.

And I am no fool. Cancer has a recurrence rate. That is true. But today, there is no cancer in me and right now I don't think I can express what that feels like except to say that whatever are your greatest joys, that bring the most tears to run down your cheeks, that's about as close as I can come to giving you an idea of how I feel. And, I believe I am almost at the end of this journey - once the chemotherapy is complete in March.

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