Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Good, better, best

I have three pieces of news to share. For once they’re all pretty positive. I hate to put any sort of caveat on good news, but the truth of the matter is this is that most of my updates are just data points along the way rather than a definitive “all clear”.

Nevertheless, the first piece of news is that I went in for a follow-up mammogram today (Wednesday 11/16/2011). It took a long time, even though I had checked in bright and early for an 8:45 appointment they didn’t get to me until a after 9:00. Then I had the joy of going back to the staging room to wait for the radiologist dr. to read the images. They came back for me and told me they wanted to do an ultrasound too. I tried very hard to get a grip on my emotions as I hopped up on the table and lay waiting for the radiologist to come in. Those two or three minutes when you’re just sitting by yourself are terrible torture. Fortunately it was really only a few minutes before the dr. showed up. I told him up front that I wanted full disclosure about what he was seeing during the exam so that I would have as much information as I could get out of the visit. He spent about 5 minutes checking things from a bunch of different angles and ultimately concluded that he couldn’t see anything worth being worried about. Being overly cautious he suggested a follow-up in 6 months just to double-check things, but reassured me that there’s nothing concerning.

The second piece of news is that last Friday (11/11/11) I had my 1 year post-cancer-treatment follow up. This included a full CAT scan. That came back completely fine. Yup it’s exciting to be considered “cancer free” and “in remission” for a full year. That’s great news since 60% of the cases recur within one year. That still means we have a ways to go – as my doctor says my odds didn’t change, we just have more data. But I will take these small victories any way I can get them – and what a fantastic date to commemorate the occasion.

Which brings me to my last piece of news. It was recommended to me that I keep my power port in until I passed my 1-year mark. I also decided to wait just a few more days to get past the mammogram. Walking out of the screening this morning my first call was to my oncologist’s office to have them schedule the port removal. It has been such a ugly, annoying, horrific, and painful thing and a terribly depressing reminder of the potential risk of recurrence. There are so many things I can’t do without it getting in the way. When the kids try to climb over me I often get an elbow jabbed in it, or a head-butt when I bend over to help them put on pants because they’re jumping around. I can’t wear my laptop-bag cross body on the left side without the strap rubbing and hitting it. Heck, I can’t even wear a seatbelt comfortably. So I am overjoyed that I get the darn thing out. That is scheduled for the next available appointment, which is Wednesday 11/23 at 9 AM. I am so so so excited! And I’m already plotting a tattoo to go around the incision site when this whole thing is behind me.


  1. So very happy. Happy, happy Thanksgiving, dear sister. Susie

  2. We're really happy to hear this good news! Megan & Eric

  3. Tell them you want the port moved to the back of your skull so you can jack in and instantly learn Karate and other cool Matrixy shit.

  4. Anonymous is Jim VO Sr since it didn't like my Google log-in. :D