It is almost Halloween. Ghouls and goblins and pumpkins are readily available for purchase in the stores. Oh, and ghosts, of course. I have always thought of ghost as a noun. She thought she saw a ghost. Or an adjective. He loved to tell ghost stories. But recently, it has made its way into the urban dictionary as a verb. I thought we were friends, but she ghosted me. It means to suddenly disappear. And I guess I did that with this blog. Gee, I am sorry.
When I finished the last post to be included in Still Ovacoming, I thought I would take a short break. Treatment had been difficult and a bad case of chemo brain made writing coherently a real challenge. Besides, I imagined, folks had to be getting tired of reading about cancer. No matter how positively I tried to spin it, the fact that I am fighting a potentially terminal disease remains true. Even the most devoted Pollyanna might find it hard to see something uplifting in that, I figured.
But I was wrong.
I forgot about my subscribers who receive the posts via email, the Facebook friends who see the link in their newsfeeds. I got texts and emails and cards from people who were concerned when the updates didn’t arrive. I didn’t realize how much people cared. And that meant something to me. So let me fill you in on what has happened in the past five weeks: I finished treatment. Those are three of the sweetest words ever spoken besides “I love you,” of course. The final day was a long one, but my dear friend and professional photographer tagged along to document the moment. We laughed and cried as she snapped pictures, which now remind me of what I have endured. The incredible staff at the infusion center made my parting moment special as I rang the bell signifying the end. And from what I understand they went to great lengths to make that happen since it wasn’t standard operating procedure. I was surrounded by such kindness and affection that day, which filled my heart with joyful hope.
Two weeks later, I had an early-morning PET scan to see how well it all worked. I have already written about the process, which is always daunting. This time, I got to visit the new imaging center, which meant state of the art equipment and shorter time spent in the tube. And then, I waited.
The next day, the call came. My doctor’s nurse was singing, “Celebrate good times.” I began to cry as my body went limp with relief. The report stated, “total and complete response to surgery and treatment with no evidence of disease.” I am cancer free.
Praise the Lord.
I am not going to lie; my body is still struggling to recover from the potent doses of poison. I am tired most days, even if those are spent doing little to nothing. My sense of taste is slowly returning. And yes, I am still completely bald. I look forward to growing some lashes and brows. I long to look and feel like myself again.
But I am grateful…. So grateful…. God has been good to me, healed my broken body twice and kept me safe through the grueling process of recovery. I often question what I have done to deserve His grace and mercy, but there are no real answers because fortunately, I couldn’t have earned it even if tried. That’s the beauty of His unconditional love.
I thank you all for the prayers. This is our miracle and a testament of what happens when two or more gather together. There is great power in collective faith. I know that much is true.
So what’s next? I am to go on a PARP inhibitor, which is classified as a chemo pill. Big pharma thinks it is worth $12,000 a month. My insurance company isn’t quite sure of that. And so I wait while they battle it out. Stay tuned. That should make for some interesting future posts.