Today, September 29, 2016 marks one year since my diagnosis of stage 4 Cancer. As you may recall, this was a surprise to many, including myself. At that time there was little hope I would survive this very aggressive disease type. A year later, here I am. Still in treatment, but doing extremely well given where I was. This was not an easy journey and I could not have done it without the help of many others. Just a recap of some of the year’s highlights:
09/29/15 Initial cancer diagnosis-Hospital Admission
10/9/15 Official Ewing Sarcoma Diagnosis
10/13/15 Start of first chemo treatment
10/30/15 Hospital Discharge
01/13/16 First PET scan after treatment was clean with minimal trace
02/01/16 Return to work
03/18/16 Seven chemo rounds ended for Phase I of treatment
04/28/16 Second PET Scan completely clean, no trace
05/10/16 Partial Lung surgery to remove inactive cancer cells
06/10/16 Terrible pain and recurrence of cancer symptoms
06/20/16 Third PET scan shows active cancer
06/27/16 Phase II chemo began-Consisting of 12 rounds
09/12/16 Fourth PET scan completely clean, no trace
09/22/16 5th of 12 rounds of chemo continues
With all that said, there is a lot to look forward to in the coming year. First, I am looking forward to celebrating my 50th birthday on October 7th!
Since I am the youngest of many kids, I want to let them know they are all getting old, except me! My closest and immediate family will be celebrating with me here in Clermont/Orlando. I am truly grateful for all those who are taking the time to come and spend this special time with me and my family. Next, I am looking forward to seeing the next treatment course whether I will be completely off all treatments or will I be put on a suppression treatment. I am curious to know how this disease behaves and keeping this blog or journal may help another person with this same diagnosis.
I am also looking forward to do some home improvement projects this coming year. I would like to build a beautiful pergola as my Zen space in my back yard and continue to expand my butterfly garden. In addition, I am entertaining tiling my kitchen floor and redoing my master bath. For those of you who saw my enormous back porch, I believe I might also entertain putting air conditioning in there for those hot summer months.
A real vacation! This past year all my vacations, sick and personal time was used for doctor’s visits and treatments. I need a real vacation. So, for 4 days in November, I am just leaving the world behind and going away to the mountains of North Carolina to just do nothing, but enjoy me. I am hoping to see the beautiful colors of fall and knowing that I lived long enough to see another colorful year.
Finally, I am looking forward to seeing my kids getting close to the end of their academic careers. One should be done end of next year and the other one the semester following that. Once this milestone is reached, I would like to say to myself…my job is complete. I can even smell it from this point…we are very close.
This is the closest I came to having hair during the brief pause between the two sets of treatment. I know one day, I will have my own hair again, until then I am happy to be sporting my shiny, bald head! I was always attracted to balding heads, well I guess I have the best of both worlds, in me! I could date myself!
I know a lot of my family, friends and colleagues have me in constant prayer and I do believe this is the reason I am doing as well as I am. Also, exercising is the key to ensuring strength and stability. I commend our trainer in the Livestrong program, Karen Butler. She is amazing and a key contributor to the health programs at the Roper YMCA in Winter Garden, Florida. I continue to walk between 3-5 miles most days, especially on weekends when I am home. I am gaining weight, but I won’t worry about that for now.
Overall, my year in review has been anything but interesting. I met some great people, especially in the medical industry and learned a lot about my body and what works for me. I continue to live life each day fully as I have my entire life and I still have a skip in my step and a humming in my head. Yes, there were sad times and trying times, but overall the good times way surpass those. I only focus on the good and happy times now. Everything else is left behind. Again, thanks for reading and always feel free to share. Until we meet again, Namaste-The spirit within me salutes the spirit within you. Walk in peace.