My birthday was yesterday. Six years ago I met with my oncologist for the first time on my birthday. I’ve been NED for 5 years, and it will be six in October.
I stopped posting, too, but it’s not from survivors guilt. It’s just that life gets busier and busier and busier the more you get back into it. You never completely forget about cancer or your treatment. You have daily or even hourly reminders. I was rubbing lotion on my neuropathy numbed feet and I thought about the colon club today. Colon Club was my lifeline. I really thought I was going to die. I was a IIIc two ways since I had 5 lymph nodes light up and I was also a T4b. There was one lymph node that lit up that was near my spine that could not be removed by surgery. It took two years to get insurance to approve a PET scan to check and see if the chemo and radiation wiped it out. Now I’m going to bed, exhausted from so many activities and knowing tomorrow is busy with even more. I’m strong, full of energy now and feel more like my old self than I have in six years. I walk fast and find it easier to get up out of chairs. The effects of chemo and radiation on the joints really do slowly get better year and year. I feel better this year than I did last year, even. I’ve always so gotten back to being able to function on 7 hours sleep instead of 10. I’ve got my ostomy down now where I can even go without ostomy supplies. My only real problem is gas, so I carry body spray with me everywhere. I remember being terrified hearing I would likely have an colostomy. Now that’s just my life.
But... I always feel like I’m living on borrowed time. I want to do so much while I have the chance. I beat cancer (so far), but there are also heart attacks, strokes, getting hit by a bus, choking on a chicken bone. My only wish is not to die from something really stupid. I went through so much to stay alive, I don’t want to waste it.
47yo single mom of 4 (24, 21, 18, 16) at Dx
6/13 - RC T4b IIIc 5LNs on PET CEA 5.4
8/13 - Finish chemorad
10/13 - APR/hyst+ovaries/perm colostomy 2/12 nodes+
6/14 - Finish Xelox 6 rds
1/15 - CT clear CEA 0.2
10/15 - CT/MRI clear CEA 0.7
4/16 - CT clear
10/16 - CT/MRI clear CEA 0.6
5/17 - PET clear? Follow up MRI to verify inflammation