Five years ago today, I got the call that I had cancer. I was in North Carolina and had to quickly pack and get home for a doctors appointment the next day. I had no idea the whirlwind that was about to be before me, and I wasn't sure when or if I'd get back up to this timeshare. So, it is especially fitting that I'm typing this from the same bedroom where I received the call. Even better is the fact that the whole family has been here, and we were taking family pictures today and had enjoyed a great weekend together.
5 years --- It seems like so long and a split second at the same time. My oncologist has always been good to tell me that my cancer was "treatable not curable", but thankfully, she never gave me a timetable. Still, if you do much research, you end up stumbling upon the harsh reality and statistics of the disease. Only 20-26% make it 5 years while only 2% make it 10 years. I have to admit that this feels like a pretty big milestone even though I try not to worry too much about the stats. Thankfully, these stats have gone up a bit (it was 20-22% 5 years the first time I saw it), and new treatments, like the one I'm on, have come about during these 5 years which hopefully will be true game changers.
I am incredibly happy that I am doing as well as I am, and so I am grateful to be able to focus on the following stats that have occurred in those 5 years:
* 2 adorable nephews and an amazing niece have been born
* I've gotten to watch the teenage nephews in many concerts, half-time shows, etc.
* I've had the opportunity to make wonderful memories with my family
* I've been able to see many out-of town friends that I don't usually get to see and spend time with them
* I've become full-time at Florida College & truly enjoyed the work that I do there and elsewhere
* I've crossed 54 things off my 56 item original-ish living list (the list has grown more in the last few years) ---the other 2 items will be crossed off hopefully soon with 1 place in August and 1 in December
* I've been able to focus on living and my spiritual life in a different way than many have the opportunity to do. I wouldn't ever wish this on anyone, but it definitely makes you see life differently.
My tumor markers have been fluctuating, and the last two months they have risen. I have a PTscan scheduled for next Monday so that we can determine exactly what is going on. I'll be honest....coming up on this date has been a lot harder this year with being back in more active treatment than it was when I was no evidence of disease. I feel very confident in my team of doctors, though, and I know that they will do everything they can to ensure that I am doing a 10 year edition five years from now.
I would greatly appreciate your thoughts and prayers that the PTscan will show that I'm stable or there is regression for the results and that I will have peace during this time. I'd also love thoughts & prayers that things go well enough in the future that the 10 year edition and beyond are possible. Thank you for all of your kind words and help over the last 5 years! I can't even begin to express how much knowing that I had the support of so many people has helped me over that time.