The only moments that I can recall in my life feeling a real sense of gratefulness have been after a big event - a wedding, a new baby, a car crash and getting through cancer ... again. These moments forced me to quickly reflect on what I have and how grateful I am.
Yesterday when I went into see Dr. Webster for a check up, I found out that I don't need to return to see him again for 3 months. Having completed the radiation, I am moving onto the "maintenance" side of things. Although I will still have the hormone treatments for the next year or two, it will definitely be more on the side lines of my life.
Getting through everything the first time was amazing too, but I didn't really get to finish before my cancer recurred. So in some ways this time is different. I feel like the first time was hard to get through, but this time was truly the ironman. Many people think that cancer is a physical game and it is. But the really tricky part is the mental game you're in. It's all about keeping up your strength to get through the fight while keeping your spirit in tact.
So, that may help you better understand why I really need to know if I'm out of the game or not. To this end, I convinced Dr. Webster to run another CT Scan on my chest and abdomen to ensure there are no new spots there. When my cancer recurred in January, there was a great risk that it was no longer confined to the breast area. We ran a CT Scan there and were elated to find out that it wasn't showing up anywhere else. I need to know for certain once again that I am clear and then, I can get out of the game mentally and get onto living my life again.
But all in all, I am feeling more mentally clear and physically stronger than I have in several months. I started back at work part time this past week and it was great to feel like I am truly in the right job there. Ryan and I also celebrated our 5 year anniversary and reminisced on how quickly time has gone and how much we have been through together so far. Talyn started at a new dayhome in preparation to start pre-school in September. All of these things feel distantly familiar to me. They remind me of a pre-cancer time when all there was to worry about was day to day things.
And so I left the Tom Baker Center yesterday, feeling a deep sense of warmth in my belly, which can only be a true sense of gratefulness for life. We are all so lucky to have what we do and I realize that more than ever after getting through this battle a second time. Although I won't get the true "all clear" for a couple of months after my CT Scan, I feel a large victory has been won already.