I remember what I used to think when I'd hear a person had "gotten cancer". I have to admit, one of my first reactions was typically an immense sadness, as I suspected it was a possible death sentence. I expect a lot of you have had similar thoughts about me.
Now that I have a bit of an insider's point of view, I see it's really not a black-and-white thing. There's so many types of cancer, there are many approaches to treating it, and there are countless different types of cancer patients. Each one will respond differently, because everyone is different. Sounds pretty obvious, but what it amounts to is that, all things considered in my case, THIS IS NOT THE LAST YOU'RE GOING TO SEE OF OL' SHELLDOGG.
Just to update you on my situation ('cause I know it's gotta be awkward to ask), NO ONE has given me a number of "months/years to live". No one said mine is "incurable". My doctor is fully expecting I will respond well to chemo-- meaning, my treatments are expected to make this thing get better. If the chemo doesn't work, I have more options. They can do radiation. They can do surgery. I can do alternative therapies. God knows what else they/I can do. (remember, we're still new at this, too-- it's only been a few months since we even knew this was happening!)
I also have a lot going for me. (HA! That last sentence sounds like I'm running for class president. "I'm organized, I'm motivated, and I'm really going to TURN THIS SCHOOL AROUND!") But seriously, also in my favor: I'm young, I'm really healthy, and I am HIGHLY MOTIVATED to beat this thing. I'm focusing on staying really healthy, eating well (more on this in a separate post), exercising, and keeping a very positive, hopeful attitude.
My next steps are these:
About two weeks after my next chemo (which happens next Thursday), they are going to give me a scan to see what progress has been made on my two little stupid pathetic shit-for-brains cancer spots. I'll have had 4 chemo treatments by then, two of which will have including the drug Avastan. After we see the scan results, we'll have an idea of how I'm responding to these magnificent drugs (most kids my age take different magnificent drugs), and how long I'll be in chemo. It's possible the spots will have receded dramatically by then!
At that point, Neil and I will also probably be able to plan exactly when/where we're going to take our tropical vacation, because we're both a little bit ready for that.
And, as if things in my world couldn't get any better, I'm pleased to report that I also still have a thick, bushy head o' curls! It's gorgeous! Come visit and see!
p.s., I just noticed something HILARIOUSLY IRONIC: I used a "colon" as punctuation not once but THREE TIMES in this post.