Monday, August 27, 2012

Results are in....

.............scans and blood work are clear!! Music to my ears. I had my scans back in mid-August, and it was really scary. I had to drink the dreaded barium, which was really hard. I did blood work, and vitals, and this and that. I was looking for Jamie over at my oncology center. Jamie was my chemo nurse, and she meant the world to me, but I couldn't find her.... Anyway... the day I had my scans was the day I left for Michigan, and it was perfect, Michigan, that is. I'll write a blog for Michigan seperate from this, ya know, to avoid a novel. So, I get back and go back in for my results last Wednesday. I get to JOHA, nervous, shaking, heart beating out of my chest... the usual. Dr. Siv's medical assistant comes to get me, and says "it's gonna be alright". She knows how I freak out... she takes my pulse and like always, it was beating like crazy. She always reassures me that it will be ok. She then leads me into the same room I've been going to for that past 6 years, and I hop on that same bed, and dangle my feet. Dr. Siv finally walks in and shakes my hand.. and the words "Katherine, you are ok, everything looks perfects", and I feel at ease. Best ever. He then went on to tell me something a little "freaky". I asked him when I would come in next, because I was under the impression that I would be coming in now once a year, instead of twice. This is when he told me no, you'll be coming in 2-3 times a year now for the next 3 years.... Um, excuse me? I'm almost at 5 years and now I have to come in more often? Well, as it turns out, apparently there was some question as to the staging of my cancer. I was originally diagnosed with stage 2- multiple tumors in multiple spots, above the abdomen. He said that throughout everything, he always had an inkling of a thought that it could be stage 4. Now I was freaked out.... this is big news, never knew this before. Apparently, when I broke my back... it might have broken from the accident, or it might have broken because I had cancer in my bones.... my heart dropped. When I had my initial scans back in 2006, Dr. Siv saw signs of cancer that were in my spine.... during my back surgery, they took a bone marrow biopsy to verify, but it came back negative. They then proceeded to do a bone marrow biopsy from my hip, negative again. Exact wording "If you want to play devil's advocate, you can saw the marrow here is clean and ok, but 2 cm away could possibly be infected"... well I didn't know that... Ok, so there was NO proof, only that little light on my PT scans showing something hanging out there....regardless, it's gone now... all the cancer, and I'm fine. And apparently if it was stage 4, they do the same exact ABDV chemo treatment for the stages, which I guess is why I'm ok? The reason he told all of that though is because now I have to seem him more regularly. Stage 4 lymphoma has a higher recurrence rate than stage 2... and he wants to monitor it more closely. Oddly enough though, after the initial freak-out in the office, I was ok. It's part of my new outlook. I'm fine now, and am looking ahead. If anything, I beat cancer even more then I thought, which makes me even more awesome, right?

 As I get ready to celebrate my 5 year official cancerversary, I'm getting really antsy. I just want it to be here. I just want to start to move on, and 5 years really makes me feel like I've accomplished a lot. At both appointments though, I didn't see Jamie. I kept asking around, and someone finally told me that she left to work at a different hospital. I was really sad- she is someone that I will NEVER forget. I was grocery shopping last night, and guess who I ran into? Jamie. She immediately recognized me (it has been almost 5 years!!!)... and ran up and gave me a hug. I was nearly in tears seeing her again. We caught up, she remembered so much about me, and it was great to see her. I felt like it was a little gift from the universe, a gift for my 5 year mark. As Jamie walked away, I said to Chris "Do you think she really knows the impact that she has had on my life?". Chris said "Yes, I know she knows that." I was nearly crying in the cleaning section of the grocery store because seeing her reminded me of how real everything was, but it also made me so much more thankful to have had a nurse who not only took care of me, but who really cared for me.


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