It has been a long time since I posted on the website. Not since those early awful days of diagnosis when everything was surrounded in fear and darkness. All of the things I was too scared to say out loud to my husband, I was able to say to this audience of amazing, knowledgeable, "in the trenches with me" people who embody this chat room. You are all extraordinary and my gratitude to you goes beyond bounds. You were there when it was all so new...when I tried to figure out what the CT scans were really saying...what those hazy spots on my lungs really meant...and did signet ring cell really mean that I had no chance.
So here I am today, 6 years later, and the BC Cancer Agency (filled with my angels and saviours) have said that they never want to see me again. We are done. I have graduated. The battle is over and I can go back to my life and to my children. And I am overwhelmed, emotional, elated and exhausted. But most of all, grateful.
My boys were so young when this journey started - and 9 and 6. And their energy and ability to force me to get up and keep going because someone had a game, a practice, a school recital, some crazy thing that needed me to be present...that is what kept me going. They didn't stop, so neither could I. And we got through it together, even though we never told them what was really going on because it felt too big, too scary. We couldn't even cope with it as adults; how on earth could they cope with it as children? We finally told them last year and it still cracks me up. Their reaction was so straight forward: "Wow - Mom! Really? Are you okay? Will it come back? Can we order more hotwings?" I love them for their very straight forward, black and white approach to the world. Now they are 15 and almost 13 - amazing, beautiful, notably more hairy children. And they make my heart swell every time I see them. And I know how lucky I am.
But I come back to this group. You are extraordinary. The support I felt from so many through my journey was amazing and humbling. So many people were incredible in their willingness to reach out to me, a total stranger, to help hold my hand and help me to just breathe - all while fighting their own battles. So many that I miss and am saddened to hear of their passing. I feel their presence and am so grateful to have had them as part of my journey. Words don't do it justice.
I stand here today as a stage 3 signet ring cell SURVIVOR (!!!!) and say thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. You are the most amazing, powerful, supportive group of people who embody this board and what it stands for. I owe you more than I could ever express.
With gratitude beyond words,
Diagnosed at age 42 with stage 3, signet ring cancer
Surgery, radiation, chemo
And it is all done