Yippee!! My doctor said “Remission”!

Wednesday April 10, 2013 = Extra Special Day

Wednesday April 10 was the final day of treatment for my fifth round of chemotherapy.  On Wednesday I did what I normally do on a “chemo day”.  I woke up, showered, fixed my hair (hee hee), ate a tiny bit of biscuit, went to Genesis, did the blood work, and waited to visit with my oncologist before starting chemotherapy.  I had my questions prepared.  I was ready.  Was this going to be my final day of chemotherapy or am I going to need to do another round?

When my oncologist came into the office, he said a word that I never imagined would sound so wonderful: remission.  Remission, meaning that there is currently no evidence of disease remaining inside of my body based upon the HCG results.  Remission does not mean that the disease has been cured or that re-occurence is impossible, but it does mean that I am not showing any signs of having cancer.

No signs of cancer = no more chemo!

Hallelujah!  Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

Me, Dr. Webb, & Ben.  Happy smiles after shedding some happy tears :)  Remission is a beautiful word.

Me, Dr. Webb, & Ben. Happy smiles after shedding some happy tears :) Remission is a beautiful word.

My  treatment went well on Wednesday, getting nausea meds, a steroid, and two chemo drugs like normal.

These are three of the awesome nurses who give chemo at Genesis.  I love them all!

These are three of the awesome nurses who give chemo at Genesis. I love them all!

We had a surprise visit from Ben’s grandmother, which brightened my day even more!

Grandma Mary Ellen Iverson, or MEI :)

Grandma Mary Ellen Iverson, or MEI :)

Next Steps

1.  Dr. Webb will order a CT scan within a few weeks.  The CT Scan will reveal if the cancer is remaining anywhere in my body.  This is an important follow-up step for me because my cancer had initially spread beyond my uterus into my right lung.  Dr. Webb expects the scan to be clear.

2.  I will do weekly blood draws for the next 100 days to test the level of my HCG.  My HCG will need to stay in a certain range for there to be no concern of the disease returning.  Dr. Webb reminded me that HCG levels do fluctuate in general, so I may see my level rise and fall a tiny bit.  Only if the level rises continually or suspiciously will we need to re-scan and be concerned.  Otherwise, weekly blood draws will turn into bi-weekly blood draws and then monthly blood draws for the next three years of my life.

3.  I will have my follow-up visit with my specialist in Little Rock in two weeks.  I feel like I am healing well from the hysterectomy, so I think my specialist will be as pleased as he was six weeks ago.  I still hurt when I cough or laugh too hard.  And, I’m not strong enough to go from laying down to sitting straight up without using my arms to help…wait, could I even do that before surgery, lol?!  My scar looks beautiful; it’s still numb in certain spots, though, which gives me the heebies-geebies!

Prayers in Remission

I’m praying for a clear CT scan and good results at every weekly blood draw.  The weekly blood tests will be reassuring yet nerve-racking, but I’m so thankful that this cancer can be tracked with a simple blood test.  I’m praying for courage and wisdom as I join the ranks of many cancer survivors who learn to live with possibilities, questions, and preventions of cancer.  I’m so thankful to be here;  I’m in great company.  Maybe I’m on my way to being an advocate for the awareness of female gynecologic cancers :)

Currently my HCG is 0.3, as of the blood draw Wednesday April 10.  This is so close to ZERO, right?  I’ve been told by a few doctors that my hcg may never be exactly ZERO and that everyone’s hcg usually flutters somewhere between zero and five.  I hear them, but I still believe I can get to a ZERO!  Maybe if I eat a few ZERO bars that would help?  Thank you for joining me in continued prayers for my ZERO.

Last day of Chemo!  Ben, mom, and Stu deserve a round of applause and lots of hugs!!!  I couldn't have done it without my inner circle of hope.

Last day of Chemo! Ben, mom, and Stu deserve a round of applause and lots of hugs!!! I couldn’t have done it without my inner circle of hope.

Life is a battlefield, and I’ve been involved in a fight that I never wanted to have.  I have a lot to learn about God’s armor for me, but I do think I understand the importance of certain items in my life much better now than I did seven or eight months ago.  The only way I have survived this battle with cancer is by putting my faith in God.  And what I’ve learned to do every day during this unimaginable trial in my life is pray.  Pray about everything.  And the more I pray, the more I acknowledge God and trust Him.  And, you know what?  The more I trust Him, the more I feel at peace.  It’s awesome.

With that said, I claim that God is the only certainty in my life.  He is the only stable rock onto which I can hold, the only secure fortress in which I can find refuge.  So, no matter what happens in my life, God never leaves and never changes.  He will always be loving, gracious, and forgiving.  And I think He wants us all to know that He is…everything, the only thing, we need.

P.S. If you noticed the cute tee-shirts in the photos above and you’d like to buy one, they are for sale at Dr. Fleischner & VanBebber Office for $20.00.  Also, you can still join our Relay for Life Team and/or donate!    Click here for the details on how to purchase a shirt, join the team, or donate!

Much Love and Blessings for a beautiful weekend. – Frances

17 thoughts on “Yippee!! My doctor said “Remission”!

  1. Krysta April 13, 2013 at 4:05 pm Reply

    The only word coming to mind right now is “HOORAY!!!” Congratulations on the super great news, I’m so incredibly excited for you. Hope you’ll be spending the weekend celebrating! =-)

  2. Susan Dugan April 13, 2013 at 4:06 pm Reply

    My heart is dancing!!!

  3. Barbara Ballard April 13, 2013 at 4:12 pm Reply

    WOO HOO!!!
    Thank you Lord for hearing our prayers for Sweet Frances! We will continue to pray for excellent results from the CT scan.
    Thank you, Frances for being such an inspiration to all of us! :)

  4. chezducrot April 13, 2013 at 4:24 pm Reply

    YAHOO!!! Today in remission, Tomorrow CURED!

  5. debbieloyd2013 April 13, 2013 at 4:28 pm Reply

    Hallelujah sweet Frances, hallelujah!!!!!!! :)

  6. Janice Carhart April 13, 2013 at 4:42 pm Reply

    Wonderful news, Frances! So very thankful…

  7. Rachel Elson-Canfield April 13, 2013 at 6:15 pm Reply

    Praise Be to GOD our ROCK and our Salvation…
    Yipee Yipeee…cancer free..:) TGFY
    Love you Frances and Ben
    Rachel Mom

  8. Tonja Bolding April 13, 2013 at 6:36 pm Reply

    Praise God!!!

  9. sarah kyle April 13, 2013 at 6:56 pm Reply

    We are so amazed at your beauty (inner and outer) and strength! Fantastic news! –Sarah and Steven

  10. Jill Barnett April 13, 2013 at 9:38 pm Reply

    I am so proud of you, as I have always been, and so thankful for your sharing this journey with all of those who love you! Continued blessings!

  11. Lori Graves April 14, 2013 at 12:50 am Reply

    THANKFUL! Remission has to be one of the most wonderful words I have heard in a long time 😍 praise God for your wonderful news and we will continue praying for your Zero count. I do know one thing for certain: our Heavenly Father never takes anything away from us without giving us something back that is even better for us. Look forward to that day! May God continue to bless you always and thank you for sharing your beautiful story.

  12. Lori Eliason April 14, 2013 at 1:11 am Reply

    I am so, so happy for you! You are an amazing woman, so much strength and so very special. You have touched so many. Through tears of joy, I am saying prayers of thanks to God! Please keep writing your beautiful words of inspiration. I can’t tell you enough, how much you have given to me, through your posts on this blog. You are God’s instrument, singing the most beautiful of songs! Thank you for your sweet voice! I think now the sun can come out and all the flowers can begin to bloom! It’s like they have been waiting for you to be able to enjoy their majesty! A perfect addition to your magical forest story of the princess and her prince! Remission IS a beautiful word! Again, so very HAPPY for you!

    Lori Eliason

  13. Sra. James April 14, 2013 at 9:18 pm Reply

    I heard the word “remission” 11 years ago!! Ain’t it grand? And today I am still going strong.
    You are right that it’s a journey that is no fun to make, but so much is learned along the way. And it is so nice to say “adios” or in your case, “au revoir” to chemo, huh? (But I must say that you look kinda cute in that short do…..)
    My heart says hallelujah for you and yours.
    I keep in touch with your news thru Peggy.
    Hugs, Dena James (hhs spanish teacher)

  14. KB April 15, 2013 at 6:42 pm Reply

    Wow! You have a powerful story! So happy for you, Frances! GOD IS GOOD!

  15. James Michau April 16, 2013 at 3:12 am Reply

    Remission. What a Awesome Word. I am so Happy for you Frances. I also believe that you can get down to a Zero.

  16. Jill April 17, 2013 at 11:56 pm Reply

    Oh Fran! I’m crying; I’m so happy for you and for your family! I’ve kept up with you during this journey and I couldn’t imagine someone with so much grace and poise during an intense time!

    You’re amazing pretty lady!

  17. Ann Wooldridge April 18, 2013 at 1:26 pm Reply

    Such a great report for you, Frances. Give GOD the glory and praise as I know you will and already have! HE is the great physician and I know you are SOOOO incredibly blessed to also have Dr. Tim Webb with you every step of the way. I will continue to pray for you and
    your precious husband.
    Ann Wooldridge

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