Monday, November 13, 2006

Chopping Veggies, The Cure For Cancer?

See, I said it would all be better tomorrow and it was. No use in getting riled up unless there is absolute cause.

Friday I had my follow-up with the medical onc (chemo doctor) in London. I was expecting bad news that there was a tumour growing in my brachial plexus nerves because this is what they basically told me to expect-- it would account for the loss of mobility in my wrist, fingers, elbow and severe nerve pain for which I now take: Methadone, Percocets, Oxy-Contin, and Gaba-Pentin.. that's gotta give me some kind of street cred, no? I'm a hard-core junkie now!

Well, turns out, their guess was wrong! I am NED (no evidence of disease) according to my recent scans! Yay, Sarah might get a break for a while! That lump I found last week is likely a seroma, but if it doesn't go away by my next appt Nov. 27th then we'll do a needle biopsy and get it out if it is cancer. Just wait and watch. I'm soooo excited that I can actually start thinking about having a great Christmas... first of all that I will actually be ALIVE for it, and second of all that I likely won't even be sick for it! Sweet! This is the third Christmas I have been blessed with since cancer, and everyone has had that cloud over it (will it be my last?) but at least I have great reason to believe that I will be here this year and I am so excited about looking forward to something!

I asked about my staging and they are considering me Stage 4 rather than 3C at this point. Moving from stage 3 t0 stage 4 for a cancer patient is undescribable. We all DREAD the thought that that could one day be us. We hope, barder, bargain, pray, believe, that we can maybe just remain stage 3 forever.... Stage 4 is a whole other ball game. If you google satge 4 you don't find many happy stories, not with melanoma. But, it is NOT a death sentence!

I plan on living and not dwelling on what may or may not be. I am here NOW and I feel good NOW and cannot even begin to say how grateful I am for everything and everyone in my life. Not even 30, really just "starting out", but you know what? I've had it good. I have it good. I have such a true love in my life, my living angel who I have been blessed with for 9 years already! How many people get to say that? How many people have such a great core group of friends, who you know will be there for you no matter what, through sickness and in health? I've done a lot. And I plan to do a lot more. I just can't plan on time any more. Time is absolutely up in the air, so I must do things as the opportunities arise, as the money comes in, as I feel like it, without jeopardizing my husband's financial future at the same time somehow. Carpe Diem.

I decided this weekend that I want to volunteer. I can't have kids? So, I'll help kids. I'm going to look into after school homework clubs, babysitting at women's shelters, and of course, because it's that time of year, helping with Christmas toy drives/food bank! That's the project for this week! I'm so excited at the prospect of having something to "do" for a few hours a week that will make me feel productive and hopefully fulfilled while helping children too.

I am so blessed to have a job that I can be on long-term disability and not have to worry too much about my income while I'm off. I get about 75% of my pay, so it's doable. For now, work is so on the backburner I don't even think of it. It was where I was. I am not there anymore and life has changed paths so I must forge through and clear the brush instead of getting stuck in the mud with nowhere to go. That was a an old dream. My new dream is to just BE. And I have the LUXURY of being able to BE because of my insurance benefits. I am so lucky for this, so many people in similar circumstances don't have benefits for their drugs, work at fast-food places for minimum wage and have to think about their most basic needs on top of cancer. I am clothed, sheltered, supported, financially ok, and can just BE and enjoy life.


At 7:23 PM, Blogger Carver said...

Hi Sarah,

Wow! What a great post. You have such a good way of looking at life. I wish I had half your wisdom and I'm almost 20 years older. Volunteering sounds like a great idea. I've been thinking about that myself. I know the children would be lucky to have the benefit of your compassion and your ideas sounded good. I am sending out NED vibes for you for what it's worth. Best wishes, Carver

At 9:20 PM, Blogger Heather said...

You are NED and you are AWESOME!

Stage IV is SO not a death sentence, there is always hope, cancer isn't that powerful.

I love your post, I love your attitude and I love that you're doing okay. The kind of positivity you display isn't the kind you have to read about in any of those crappy cancer books, you know? You have the real thing, baby, and it's so, SO powerful.

You're LIVING with melanoma and doing it well. Sometimes we just have to show it our backs and get on with the good stuff!

Sending huge hugs!


At 8:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sarah, you blow me away.

First, congratulations on being NED -- I'm so very happy for you. :-)

You have such a beautiful spirit, and such tremendous strength of character and tenacity. Every prayer I've got is headed your way that you *stay* NED.


At 6:22 AM, Blogger Peter said...

May you enjoy this Christmas and many, many more.

At 10:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

HI Sarah,

Yipee for NED!!! Great post.

I read this a bit ago, and meant to respond sooner.
I am looking foward to getting more details on your volunteer adventures. You a wonderful, and fantastic lady! So lucky to have you in my life!

You rock sista!

Love L


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