Today was a good day.
It was a really good day.
I went to the cancer center for a follow-up visit, as I had a CT scan and blood work done on Tuesday. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a tiny bit worried about the results. It was an irrational worry, really, as I've been feeling pretty good for a few weeks and all the once-visible tumors have shrunk.
It's hard to keep at bay when the word 'cancer' is in play.
Turns out? The worry was unnecessary. My scan looked great! All the nasty tumors have shrunk and every single one of one of my lymph nodes is now within normal size range! Squeee! My doctor even used the word remission. Remission, people! She was quick to remind me that it's not a full one, as this lymphoma will never go away. The cancer is still there (everywhere) - you can see it on the scan - but it's teeny-tiny now. It should take some time to grow up again. So yeah, we'll call it remission and I'll take it!
And my blood work? Well, it looked amazing! My doctor couldn't believe that my thyroid function, which was an unbelievable mess a few months ago, is now down to 'borderline normal.'
Not shocking, really. I've always been 'borderline normal' (and a bit more borderline than normal, to tell the truth).
She asked if I'd been taking a new medication for it - one that maybe my GP prescribed, as she recalled how sick I got with the one she gave me (and how sick the one before that made me, too). "Nope," said I. "It's the whole food diet!" I think she was a little skeptical at first, but she knows it's the only change I've made. Chemo is the only medication I've taken (besides anti-nauseas) and it doesn't affect thyroid function.
Part of the reason I started the Whole30 was to attempt to right my hormone levels, including my thyroid, which was jacking me up big-time. The people who swear by the plan tout it as the Second Coming and while I doubted it would affect me to that degree, I had hope that it would make me feel a bit better.
Turns out? That hope was well-placed. To go from skyrocket-high to borderline-normal is pretty fabulous. And I? Am happy! My doc? Was impressed.
Anyway, I felt pretty great when I left the exam room. I marched straight to the reception desk to tell the sweet girl who checks me in what the doctor said. I repeated the 'R' word quietly, though, as there were a lot of people in the waiting area, some of whom will never hear that word, and I didn't want to make anyone feel bad. But when I turned around, everyone within earshot was grinning ear to ear - at me and for me. It felt good. Cancer is a club, you know. It's not one anyone in his right mind wants to belong to and the dues are sky-high, but it's a club nonetheless. And no matter how rotten one member feels, a victory (no matter how big or small) for another is a victory for all. Victory brings hope to a place where hope can be frighteningly scarce.
And today? On this very good day? The hope I'm feeling is the opposite of scarce. It's positively blooming! I don't know how long I'll get before I have to go through this ugliness again, but I do know I'm going to make the most of whatever time I can eek out. I know I'm going to work hard to get as healthy as possible before the next course of treatment. I know I'm going to do as many of the things on my bucket list as I can manage.
And I know I'm going to get on with this business of living!