A few weeks ago I was walking downtown and ran into a friend I hadn't seen in a while. She asked me how I was doing and it was clear that she hadn't heard about the cancer returning. I began to tell her and as the word “terminal” parted my lips, I thought to myself, I have to stop saying that word. There is really nothing good to be said about this word, it's not very poetic, it doesn't feel good in my mouth when I say it, and furthermore, it doesn't describe me. As I left her and headed towards home, I passed a car parked along the sidewalk. I glanced through the passenger side window and on the dashboard was a giant neon pink sticker that read, POSITIVE. Okay, I get it, I thought out loud, I have since decided to disown the word “terminal”.
The day before my appointment with my oncologist, we spoke with one of the doctors in Mexico that I will be seeing. He went through his treatment protocol with us and at the top of his list was a hormone therapy, the same therapy being offered to me here. Never say never, I guess. I will be starting the hormone treatment here at home sometime this week. I feel much better about the decision knowing that the treatment plan in Mexico supports the drug plan up here. My oncologist seemed optimistic as he gave me the results of my bone scan and CT. The bone scan was clear, so no cancer in my bones and the CT scan looked great. So at this point, the disease does not seem aggressive and my goal is to keep it that way. We are considering going to Mexico sometime in January. That will give the hormone treatment time to settle in and will give us a baseline to work from.
The past month has been a complete whirlwind but things are settling down and a new normalcy is taking shape. I am well. I feel healthy, safe, excited and loved. Loved beyond measure. I am learning how to surrender to the waves of emotion, that come less often but still exist. The fear and sadness are raw, and the unfairness is biting. When they well up I am often overtaken, but it passes and when I kiss Coady goodnight, and tuck him in I am overwhelmed with gratitude and love. When I lay my head down at night I say a prayer of gratitude and remind myself, “Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened”.