Memories... Like Mom Made!

Memories... Like Mom Made!
Out of dark moments, flowers grow.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

2 Years: A different milestone

With all the sadness in my life lately, it's nice to have a happy milestone to celebrate every once in a while.

And today is a very happy day.

It was on this day, 2 years ago, that I received the word from my doctor that changed my outlook on life forever:


After struggling for almost a year with the concept of having cancer, and then with all the different prognoses and treatment options, my head was spinning. My husband and I had been to the edge and back: scared, shocked, angry, terrified, hopeful. We didn't know what to think. But we kept coming back to hopeful.

So many things had made my journey a lot easier than it would or could have been.

Number one: my doctor discovered it before it fully became cancer. Unfortunately, because I was pregnant with Landon at the time, nothing could be done until after I had Landon. From the point when they discovered the abnormalities (June of 2008), to the first biopsy after I had Landon (January 2009), it had progressed into full blown cancer. Still stage 1, but at the rate it had grown and changed, the doctors recommended me for a complete radical hysterectomy.

Right. Away.

I was terrified. I was shocked. I went through all the emotions we had experienced when they first told me they discovered "precancerous" cells in June. I didn't understand how it could have progressed so quickly. I just couldn't wrap my head around it. They explained that the type of cancer I had was very aggressive and once it began to spread, would spread very rapidly. They said their treatment had to be aggressive as well, or I may not be able to beat it.

That's a lot to take in when you are 22 and with a newborn.

Add on to that a move across country that was scheduled to take place 3 days later, and I was in full panic.

My doctors immediately arranged a referral to one of the best oncologists in California at the soonest available date.

We moved across the country, got as settled as we could, and I met with my doctor. He was a wonderful oncologist who really knew what he was doing. He was very big about advocating for his patients and their situations regardless of the recommendations made for them by other doctors or the AMA.

The first time he met me he said "You don't want a hysterectomy, do you?" And immediately I started crying "No, no please no!" I explained that we wanted a big family and my son was only 2 months old. This couldn't be the end.

He told me he had an idea. He warned that it may not work, and even if it seemed to work, I may also need radiation or chemo to keep the cancer from coming back. But he was willing to take the risk if I was. My husband and I immediately said we were on board, and my surgery was scheduled for two weeks later.

The surgery went pretty well, though there was a small hiccup in the surgery that required a longer hospital stay... But all in all, I survived and I felt very hopeful.

I returned to my doctor every couple of weeks for a check up and examination. Four months after my surgery was the soonest they could check to see if the cancer was gone, so in mid August I made the long drive down for my check up. They took tissue samples and did the routine exam I was used to, and sent me on my way.

My doctor reassured me that he would call as soon as they knew anything.

August 18th I received word from my doctor.

"We got it." He said, "You are officially in remission."

I remember my hands shaking when I finally received the official letter in the mail with my test results... I remember feeling relieved and like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders.

I remember feeling like I was suddenly getting a second chance. Everything was going to be different. I was never going to take another day for granted.

It's now been two years. Two years since I was officially in remission. There have been a lot of ups and downs in these two years, especially lately, but I am still so thankful to be alive.

So thankful to get to watch my son grow and change every day. So thankful for all the thousands of kisses I have gotten from my husband since that day. So thankful for every beautiful moment.

Because my story could have ended a long time ago.

But it didn't.

My story continues.

On and on.

1 comment:

  1. Wow you truly have an incredible story. I found your blog while reading someone else's...not sure how I even came across that one but either way, I love how you write and love hearing what you have to say. Reading your post about being pregnant again brought me to joke. I'll say a prayer that your husband makes it home in time for the birth. My husband is in the army and was deployed during my entire pregnancy but made it back (over R&R) for the birth of our son by just a couple of hours. I'll be hoping the same happens for you. Congrats to you for your sweet babe on the way and for two years in remission :-)