Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Coming out of the valley and taking in the view from the top of the mountain

You often hear that people look at life changing experiences, like having cancer, as a gift. It often takes people some time to get to that conclusion, but from those that I've talked to about it, it often goes like this. Before life just went on day by day, it had it ups (finding a parking spot right in the front of the store you wanted to go into) and its downs (a parking ticket), but overall everything was fine. But once you experience something that changes the way you live life and look at life, then those smaller things just don't really matter.

Now the ups are getting a clear CT Scan to know that your cancer hasn't spread and turned incurable and the downs are spending 12 hours laying on your bathroom floor because you don't have the energy to walk back and forth to your bed in between being sick from the last round of chemo. Once your life changes like this, the old life you used to have seems like you were living in the prairies.

Now, on days like yesterday when the doctor tells your husband that his CT scan looks the same as it did on December 12 and they have a "plan" to proceed with the chemo and avastin right away, the view from on top of the mountain is pretty sweet! Looking back on December 12, when Ryan was paralyzed on his right side, couldn't speak and would look right through you, you remember the deep valley that you were in and appreciate the beautiful view even more.

We left the cancer center in shock. Ryan started his daily chemotherapy pill last night and was in today for his first infusion of Avastin. Everything went really smoothly and he is already scheduled to go back in 2 weeks for a quick check up with the doctor and another infusion. Tomorrow I go in to see my oncologist for my 3 month check up and injection and then we get a much needed break from that place for 2 weeks.

They gave us the list of potential side effects and now we just wait and see how Ryan responds. We know the odds are still 50/50 of whether this will work, but a 50% chance for someone as strong as Ryan is pretty good. We are enjoying the beautiful weather today from on top of this mountain and breathing in some relief for now.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Tasha,
    Thank you for this poignant account of how December's valley turned into February's mountain top for you and Ryan. You have not glossed over any of the harsh reality of the journey from the depths to the heights. It is a wonder that your attitude of gratitude still shines through.

    Though you and Ryan left the cancer center in shock, you did not let whatever you were told stop you from moving forward immediately. Ryan's chemo and first Avastin infusion came right on the heels of the promising news about his CT scan. The pictures of Ryan and his first precious bag of Avastin show just how determined the two of you are to beat the odds.

    I hope your own 3 month check up and injection were as routine as such events can be in your life, Tasha. Of course, we never forget that you and Ryan are each fighting a personal battle, even as you wage war on cancer together.

    Hopefully Ryan will be spared all of the potential side effects of his current treatment process. In the meantime, we're glad that your family has a two-week break from "that place" and a bit of time for "breathing in some relief".

    We always appreciate your reminders that "those smaller things just don't really matter". It's easy to lose sight of that fact several times in the course of an ordinary day.

    May your present time at the top of the mountain be long and easy.

    Sincere well-wishes,
    Louise and David