Quote of the Day: “The gift we can offer others is so simple a thing as hope.” Daniel Berrigan
Today I had my 3 month check up with the radiologist. Before I met with her, I went and had blood work done. For some of the blood work, immediate results are available- just what I like- and all my numbers were normal which always makes me happy. I heard a former cancer patient say something like this on T.V. “Normal is awesome” and I feel the same way. Normal should mean no cancer. Some of the blood work will be tested at a lab so I have to wait a few days for results which is always nerve wracking! When I came home, I pulled out my blood work done a few days before I got the call back on my mammogram in February 2011 and my numbers were the same as today, so numbers don’t always show there is anything wrong because I was well on my way in my breast cancer journey. So, I’ll wait and see what the other tests show. I keep thinking how my life could change in an instant with results, how I could go from being content and confident about the future to wondering if there will be a future. But, I feel good and strong and optimistic that the cancer is gone. All I can do is hope!
It always makes my heart beat a little faster when I near the IMC hospital- I have such a past there and especially when I walk under those doors that say “Cancer Center”. I remember the first day Sue B. and I walked into the building. I had long, thick hair and a body that felt like my own. It certainly was one of the scariest things I have done. It was there that we met another patient, Travis, who was getting a strong dose of chemo for a cancerous tumor in his chest. I have thought a lot about Travis and his family, a daughter who was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 13 and another daughter, 3 years of age, who died of cancer. The heartache of Travis’ story and the drip of chemo going into my body made for a never ending trail of tears for me that day- it was as if the floodgates had opened. I couldn’t control my emotions. Since that day, I have worried about Travis and then last week I saw a spot on T.V. advertising the Race for the Cure run and there was Travis and his daughter! I was so happy to see that he was alive. So today, I was rushing to get to my appointment and arrived five minutes late. They did the blood work and then sent me to the waiting room and who should be there but Travis. I was overjoyed to see him. He looked great, he weighed more and his coloring was much better. He was, however, still going through chemo. But I got to talk to him and he is truly an inspiration to me. He is making a video about his cancer experiences and sending it to the committee for the Iron Man in Hawaii. I hope he gets in. I can’t imagine refusing someone who has been through so much. Good luck, Travis! I couldn’t help but think how a few minutes in time could have separated our meeting. I don’t believe in coincidences- I have had way too many to discount them.
As I was exiting the elevator, I said “Hi” to a woman coming in. She was clearly going through chemo, all the tale-tale signs. She was wearing a bandana, her skin was pale, she was flanked on each side with women, certainly her support system and she had fear in her eyes. Anyone who has experienced a devastating, life-threatening disease knows that fear. I feel so drawn to people who are going through cancer treatment. I want to reach out and hug them or at least tell them that I too have been through what they are experiencing and assure them that it will get better, there is hope.
Me, on the coast of Kauai, near Poipu, so desperately wanting to be cancer-free!