This will be a really quick update, as I'm very tired and feeling overall nasty from the chemo, but I need to let you all know what's going on.
1- According to my PET results, I have no more cancer left in my body. ****This means I am in complete remission.***** (insert expletive here.) My mind is truly reeling. I am still trying to believe this is true. Massive news like this, oddly, is difficult to ingest. It's almost like I'm still waiting for the moment when it's going to sink in, and then I'll start jumping for joy. (I think this is a protective mechanism I've built up, after having gotten so much bad news early on.)
2- I have to do 4 more rounds of chemo, just to be extra safe. (some cancer can conceivably still be there in tiny, undetectable amounts--this would hopefully take care of that!) Then I'll have one more scan, to check things again. That will be at the end of August.
3- I will still have to take medicine (Avastin) for a year, but that's not chemo, so it will be no big deal by comparison. I probably will have scans pretty often, too.
I feel thrilled, confused, excited, nervous, unsure, full of wonder and gratitude, and tired. I also know I am not out of the woods yet. The scary truth about Stage 4 colon cancer is that in MOST cases, it DOES come back. Usually within 3 years. I am going to have to get my head set so that I can live well knowing this possibility exists. This is going to be a process for us-- it's not over yet.
And I know that sounds all Negative Nelly, so here's some Positive Polly: With each month that passes, they are developing better and better cancer drugs. Truly, 2 of the drugs that saved me were developed in the last 2 years. Another was developed 4 years ago. Imagine what they'll have three years from now! Secondly, if the odds aren't with me, so what. The odds have been solidly against me this entire time, and I've known it, and I've beaten them all. I think part of it just has to do with the fact that I am not the average person to get this disease: I'm much younger, much healthier, and very determined.
My doctor told me that the progress I've made thus far ranks me on scale of 1-10, at a 12. Think of it. In January I was wasting away, post-surgery, with stage 4 colon cancer (there is no stage 5)--tumors in my lung and liver. In June, the cancer is completely dead and gone, and I'm doing absolutely terrifically.
It's remarkable, and yet I still can't believe it's all happening. I now have as much cancer in me as YOU do (which is zero, baby.)
I am sure that over the next few days I'll be processing all this and I'll have some epic blog postings. Til then, just know that I'm doing great (although sort of despising this chemo, which IS, as they predicted, getting more tiresome each time), and am utterly, completely grateful to YOU, yes YOU, for being my friend and supporter. Collectively, your messages of love and support have made me KNOW that my life is definitely worth fighting for. And so I did.
And it looks like I won?