“Good news … your biopsy is clean (NO signs of cancer) but hold the applause and don’t let your guard down”
Those words from my oncologist at Johns Hopkins.
Why? between year and two is where problems tend to happen. The rest of the appointment went like this, “So would you say i’m doing great?”
Doctor — “Survive one more year and we will call your status great. For now, be happy for today. You are alive. Go home and enjoy your son, eat clean, exercise and stay stress free. When you make it to year 2 and the marrow settles more then we can breathe a little easier. This is a tough journey. “
Nothing like raining on your parade if you had one… but I get it.
I know the reality. I wish there was a magic wand someone could wave. We need more research. We need more trials. We need a cure. We need the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and everyone to help SOMEDAY be TODAY! I beg..
They certainly don’t mince words at Johns Hopkins because the reality is they know things can change in an instant and they have seen it change. They are very transparent. They have to be.
Two of my dear friends who went through transplant with me are struggling at this very moment. One is my dear friend Jenn — who did relapse and is back in her second fight and back on 5B again. My other friend is more private about the battle. I pray for both of them every single day. Please pray for them. I think of them the minute I wake up and before I go to bed.
I am so grateful to GOD that last week’s biopsy is clean but please know that I don’t take one single day for grated.
My life is so different now. The little things I see upsetting people seem so trivial to me that it is hard for me to wrap my mind around some things that I can believe I used to stress over. Now, if it doesn’t have to do with my health, my ability to watch my son grow up and be together as a family… it’s really low on the list.
Meantime— We are still waiting for 2 other tests:
(1) To find out what percentage of my bone marrow is my sister Lisa’s DNA.. which is very important. I pray it stays at 100%. — I hope to find this out by Wednesday.
(2) The stem cell study that looked deeper into my cells to see what kind of cells are growing back. This is the study I enrolled in and if you follow my journey you remember that because I refused to be randomized, they refused to give me my results. The investigational team is separate and they still have refused to give me my results. Results that could give us more answers.
I’m also getting some bruising and doctors keep monitoring that to make sure it’s ok and not a sign of anything changing. Right now.. the counts look good.
Part of me wanted to celebrate the news I heard and the other half felt like just quietly leaving and go home. I choose to just leave quietly and go home. Part of me felt like celebrating would be boasting and taking life for granted— like — if I celebrated someone would come take that moment away from me. The only celebration was knowing Gabriel would be so happy to have his Mami come home to him and be there for him. I also didn’t feel appropriate celebrating anything while dear friends are back fighting and i know what that fight is like. I’m not just on the sidelines.. i lived it. It is hell. I NEVER want to go back there and I’m so sad they are back there.
So I quietly drove and said my prayers and went straight to Gabriel’s school after my appointment. I didn’t wait for him to get out. I grabbed him.. hugged him and told him how much I loved him. I was so happy to calm his own fears –that I wasn’t coming back to pick up him. (i had an awesome friend take him to school and he cried the night before asking what if I didn’t come back to get him. He constantly worries since my treatment that when I go somewhere it will be months before he will see me again. )
While I didn’t celebrate. I cannot tell you how relieved I was to know I was ok. I was worried sick all week waiting for the test results. I got shingles again. I cried non-stop. I was a mess… thinking of plan B. Who would take care of Gabriel here? Who would drive him to school? How would Gabriel get through this if he whispers to me every night “Please don’t ever leave me again Mami” and cries when I go to the doctor and asks “are you going to come back for me this time?” Cesar has switched jobs and is again commuting — and how would that work? AND.. shit… Who would take care of me? Those wheels have stopped spinning at least until my next appointment.
Yes.. yes… yes…. Many of you not affected by cancer say move on and move forward don’t think about that— but those impacted by cancer and those who treat cancer know how quickly your life can once again get turned upside down say this fear is normal. The doctors and psychologists tell you that you DO need an emergency plan so you can put it aside and not stress about it.
I will keep everyone posted – as soon as I get the 2nd test result in.
As always, thank you for your prayers, your concern, your friendship, love, compassion and all you have given me in my life. I am very grateful.
Please, find a way each day to ArmorUp for LIFE in your life.
Be thankful. Treasure each day. Make memories and love life.
ArmorUp for LIFE xoxo