Good news from the oncologist, my CA 125 is 7.5. Three months after chemo and the number continues to go down (at least a tiny bit, the last number was 8 🙂 Thank you for your prayers and well-wishes. Praising God for getting me through this devastating disease. When I finished chemo and I started to recover from my last neulasta shot, the thought popped into my mind, “That’s it? That wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be or could have been.” I feel like, what I suspect plane crash survivors feel, shocked that I didn’t die and dazed by the brush with death. And a little guilty that I survived when many others like Farrah Fawcett, Patrick Swayze and Ted Kennedy did not.

My kids appear to be over their fear of losing me and it’s business as usual, taking it for granted that we’ve dodged a bullet and cancer is a thing of the past. They’ve moved on but I still feel shell-shocked about the whole thing. I told my husband, I think I have post traumatic distress disorder or something. I’ll be cooking dinner or driving to pick up my kids and all of a sudden it hits me that I’ve survived cancer and I’m shocked by it. The speeding car swerved to miss me and I can go on with my life. How do you now live?
Well, one change is how I view aging. I just turned 49 and last year I thought I would be pretty bummed about it since it’s on the cusp of the dreaded 50, but this year I was relieved to make it to 49. I was never so happy to celebrate a number as I was this one, it meant that I made it to the other side. Every year I add to that number is a thing of beauty no matter what I look like 🙂 It means I’m that much closer to seeing my daughters graduate from college and start families of their own. So, going through the aging process? Getting more wrinkly? Adding to my collection of gray hair? Praise be to God that I have the opportunity to do so.
I asked the oncologist, if the cancer returned, could it metastasize to my brain or other organs and I was relieved to find out that he had only heard of two cases (at his practice) of ovarian cancer metastasizing to the brain. So, thankfully it’s pretty rare. Evidently, ovarian cancer likes to remain in the original region and attach itself to the lining of the abdominal cavity. On the one hand, it’s great that I don’t have to worry about brain surgery or losing part of my lungs or kidneys but the problem is that there is no way to know that there’s a tumor apart from testing, there are no symptoms. Ovarian cancer is not called the silent killer for nothing!
But I will be tested for the next two years, so I live like I’ve dodged the bullet and not worry about dodging another. I’m learning that in God’s grace it’s not too hard to live in three month segments. It makes me appreciate the time that I can live cancer free.
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