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!
My treatment went well on Wednesday, getting nausea meds, a steroid, and two chemo drugs like normal.
We had a surprise visit from Ben’s grandmother, which brightened my day even more!
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.
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