This news has already been announced via multiple outlets –thank you Facebook, text and cell– but for those who don’t have access to me via those, here’s the deal.
Last Friday I had another MRI, which I am become quite comfortable at. I know the process well enough that I could probably sleep and do the breath holds. I know in advance to pick out what music I want to listen to, not to wear any metal, to leave valuables at home. I know I can go through the whole process without a sedative and can, therefore, drive myself home and won’t need to depend on a ride. Yup, I’m a pro at MRIs.
I figured I wouldn’t hear from Dr. Brooks or Linda (his nurse practitioner) because I had an appointment this week. I like seeing my MRIs and they usually review them with me as they hand me the report. Plus, I hadn’t really expected any real change. Worse yet, I almost anticipated that the five weeks of chemo free life I had been allowed would bite me in the butt. Yes, I expected my tumor to grow.
This, complicated by the emotions of the season, created a decrease in my positivity. I was throwing myself into making memories and having the best Christmas ever, just in case this was my last. I wanted Milo and our families to have good things to recall about this year besides the monster of a tumor living inside my liver. When confronting your mortality, it is insanely hard to remain both optimistic and enjoy the excitement of a holiday season. Heck, it’s hard to enjoy a lot of things sometimes. Other times, the emotions reach a place you didn’t even know existed. I tried to explain this yesterday to Milo. I feel emotions much more deeply than I did before. The highs are much higher and the lows are bottomless. It’s not much fun to ride a roller coaster between those two variants. It’s physically painful.
Today, it was happy pain. While sitting at my desk, my cell lit up with Dr. Brooks’ office number. I had already had the call reminding me of my appointment tomorrow, so I wasn’t sure what they would have to say. I hoped it would be good news about the insurance paying for my new chemo since that is a bill I really hope never to see. Instead, it was Linda telling me that Dr. Brooks insisted she call me with the results of my MRI. So she did…
THE TUMOR IN MY LIVER HAS SHRUNK!
Yes, I do feel that required bold, italics and caps. It’s a big deal!
What started, she said, as a ten centimeter by eight centimeter by six centimeter (10x8x6) is now an eight centimeter by six centimeter by three centimeter (8x6x3) tumor. I drew it out and it is a really big difference! I was so excited that the second the call disconnected I skipped from my office to the front desk to tell my friend Laura that it had shrunk. I then skipped back, called my husband, my parents and his parents. I posted on Facebook, my cancer message board, my charity site and sent out a load of text messages. No, I clearly wasn’t excited.
My parents cried. Milo asked how it shrunk without chemo. I point out this: why look a gift horse in the mouth! I don’t care why it shrunk, it did and that’s the focus I have right now. His parents and sisters were equally as excited. This is truly a Christmas miracle!
Thank you, Lord, for this gift. Thank you Dr. Brooks for making her call me. Thank you all for the prayers and kind thoughts and words. He is listening. It is working. Let’s not stop now!
We are going to beat this together.