I just returned from a quick, and very positive, appointment with Dr. P’s office where I was given the news about the biopsies I had last week and the PET scan I had yesterday. These tests were done to determine if I had more cancer, either metastacized in my uterus and ovaries from my gastric cancer spreading, or a separate primary site cancer. The answer was no. All the tests came out negative and the PET scan this year is overall better than the PET scan I had one year ago. When Lynette told me the news, the relief I felt was immediate, and I felt a weight lift from me. I told Lynette that I wanted to kiss her and that I wanted to cry from relief. Until I felt the release of tension, I did not realize just how much stress I was carrying around about this. While I knew I was stressed about it, I had decided I could not focus on it and just worry, because worry would not change the facts and would do me no good. But I could not help but have this in the back of my mind. I could also physically see the release of tension in Alan as well. He barely slept last night and told me he was very stressed as we drove to Karmanos. When I asked if it was work, he said no, it was me. When he heard the news, I saw him physically relax. He now is exhausted, probably because he slept little last night and not much since he first heard it was possible my cancer had spread or I had another primary cancer site. Tonight I celebrate. I just had wine with Deb and am going out to dinner with Jackie and Joel and Alan.
Yesterday was a rough day. I went in the morning for the PET scan and further blood tests, ordered by the gyn/oncologist I saw last week. I was not at Karmanos for a check-up as part of the clinical trial or for my regular chemo, but specifically to address the concerns of the gyn/oncologist, Dr. S., with what she saw when she examined me last week. Being there for those tests made me face head-on again the possibilities that I could have another primary source of cancer or that my cancer had spread further. After the tests, when I met Deb, Judy and Jackie for lunch, I was uncommonly quiet and just felt like being at home, hunkered down. Judy texted me afterwards asking me if I was okay because she noticed how quiet I had been at lunch. You can probably guess from this blog that I am not an introvert, and that I tend to communicate (talk) a lot. So when I am very quiet that usually means I am stressed or feeling bad. My response to Judy – I was quiet because the worry about the results of the tests had taken hold again. Luckily I had plans for a cooking demonstration and dinner with Joe last night, which took me out of the worry for a time and gave me a great meal. The worry hit full force again when I went to bed last night. I did not sleep well. I was up in the middle of the night for at least an hour or more. Alan woke up at the same time and said he did not sleep for hours, again because of worry about me. I went to yoga this morning and after yoga felt a bit better, but then was hit with the worry about the news again after I went to work. This morning when I was at work, I realized that everyone who had read my last posting was really worried. Numerous people at the office came up to me, saying they were praying for me, that whatever the news, they knew I would fight hard, and they would be by me. Judy said whatever the news, “we would fight this.” Jackie told me to call on her for anything I needed. Deb insisted on taking me to my appointment tomorrow. Now that I have this good news, I felt I had to write about it and let everyone who reads this blog know it.
I am still seeing the gyn/oncologist tomorrow because she may want to remove the polyps she saw in her examination. But the dark cloud hovering over me has lifted and I feel so much lighter. After my relief at the news, Alan reminded me that I still have serious gastric cancer to deal with. Of course I know that, but this is a small victory and every victory is to be savored. While some may not see this as a victory, perspective changes when you have cancer. You are happy for positive news. You deal with the fact that you have a serious cancer, but what you do not want is more surprises. I remember when I was told I had a blood clot as a result of my port insertion and that the clot was near my heart. My reaction was not what you would expect when told of a clot near the heart. Instead, I simply asked what I needed to do to deal with it, but my focus was wholly on the fact I had stage IV stomach cancer and needed to get treatment going for that. The clot was an inconvenience, not the focus of my attention. I want to continue to focus on defeating this cancer. I plan to defeat it, but I did not want to be fighting on two fronts, instead of one. My fight is hard enough as it is. With the news I received today, I keep thinking of the words of the song from the musical “Hair,” “let the sunshine in, the sun shine in……” That is how I feel right now. Now lets hope this chemo works. I LOVE having two weeks off chemo.