Cure. That’s a word that rolls around in my mind lots. Like I’ve said before, I honestly thought down deep in my heart (even though I knew better in my head) that when I visited the smart Dr. R that he would give me a magical little white pill. I would take it for some weeks or months or even years and then I would be pronounced cured.
In cancer, you don’t really get cured. You get "no evidence of disease" or "cancer-free" but you don't really get cured. At least you don't get labeled "cured" immediately.
Right now I have no visible evidence of disease. We are using the radiation treatments to better my chances of living cancer-free for a long, long time.
I won’t know if I’m really cured until I die of something else without ever fighting cancer again. **Sigh** Does that frustrate anyone else?
Today I saw my life like this. Two columns of tally marks stand on a tall wall. On the left, my mark has been counted. That’s the column for “sarcoma diagnosis.” On the right, not as many marks sit so proudly. That’s the column for died disease- free of natural causes. That’s the column where I want my mark boldly placed, but not for many, many more years.
So in order to reach the cure I so desperately desire, I must die first, another one of cancer’s wonderful ironies. I’m not ready yet. Not for cancer or any other malady. I’m young. I’m living. I’m still going strong.
Today was the day I made friends with NED (No Evidence of Disease). I haven’t been formally pronounced yet but I expect to be in about six more weeks after my scans. I will join the ranks of those in the middle column. Living disease free after successful treatment (a few small spots under watch, of course.)
I’m ready to be there today. I celebrate those words with you today. Tumor removed. Clear margins (even the fraction of a millimeter clear because hey, clear is clear!). I’m learning to live with and learning to love those words. I think this means I am coming to the acceptance part of cancer. I'm not so paranoid or self-conscious about being part of that group. Weird. It still feels strange like it did that first day of diagnosis. I still feel like I should be standing in front of a group of people saying, “Hi my name is lisasmith and I have cancer.” Only this time it’s not a room of strangers. Today it’s a room full of friends.
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. Psalm 16:6