Last week, I met with my oncologist and got the results of my latest PET/CT scan. It’s always so nerve wracking to meet with the doc – it involves so many important decisions and information that just prepping for the appointment can make me nervous. Walking in the door of the hospital is like walking into the unknown…I can always feel my heart racing as I try to stay calm. Deep breathing exercises usually help, and closing my eyes and using mindfulness meditation also helps to bring down my heart rate.
I didn’t expect to hear any change in treatment plan in this visit. I was hoping, at best, for no change in my scans.
But I was pleasantly surprised!! NED. No evidence of disease. The best three letters I’ve ever heard!!
My cancer is completely gone. No uptake on the PET scan. Nothing visible in the CT scan.
NOTHING! It’s like it all melted away!
I’m over the moon. All the craziness that I’ve been through, all the poking and prodding, all the infusions, for now, are done.
Would I go through it again? Honestly…yes I would.
Cancer really does something to you. I feel like being so young and looking at death is like a mind altering drug. I’ve become more patient. More sensitive. Less judgmental and more caring. I celebrate the little things and stress less about the big things. I’ve become closer to my family and friends…close in a way that I could never have predicted.
I’ve changed my whole outlook on life.
So to me, all the hardships for the past 20 months were all worth it. Giving up my career as an anesthetist in Florida, moving cross country for the BEST care at Mass General, building a greenhouse and a garden for my sanity, going back to work as a surgical neurophysiologist, all of this was a journey. It wasn’t a pleasant journey at times. But it was a journey that has changed not only my body, but also my mind and my soul.
I hate to say it. But I’m a better person thanks to cancer.