November 15, 2011
This could be the most exciting time in my life! I just recovered from my last chemotherapy infusion, I’m about to start my senior year of college and I’ll be getting married soon! I am so ready to live again. I feel like I have fresh start, like I’m ready to be released into the world again.
When people hear that I’m barely 21 and have already had to go through cancer, naturally they feel sorry for me. But they should realize that making it through this has given me so much more than it has taken away. This has been such a time of blessing. Not many people have the opportunity to pull away from all of their important obligations and take a break from life for 6 months to come to find out that all of those obligations they left behind weren’t all that important in the first place. I also had never had the opportunity to realize that more people care about me than I ever imagined. And don’t get me started about the opportunity I had to put all of my trust in God and watch Him deliver. I may have lost a semester of college, some of the warmer days in Boone and most of my hair, but I have gained a strong confidence in the Lord, a new perspective about the life ahead of me, a lot of downtime with my family and long list of things that have only made life that much richer.
So in my mind, since my cancer is gone and I’m done with chemo I can now say “I’m cured!” But, raining on my parade, the doctor says the correct terminology is “I’m still in remission”….which is definitely not as cool. But I’m ok with that. Faith has gotten me this far, and I’m confident that it will take me all the way to be able to say that I am actually cured one day in the future. By future, I mean 5 years.
Since I’m not getting chemo every two weeks anymore, obviously I won’t be going to the hospital as often. I’m going to get my bloodwork checked next month and I also have a PET scan a couple of weeks after to make sure everything still looks good. Then for the next 5 years, I will continue to have PET scans every 6 months to make sure the cancer does not return. Apparently if it has not returned in the first two years, it is highly unlikely it will ever return. But please understand that Hodgkin’s Lymphoma has a very high chance (95%+) that it will not relapse (come back). So once again I am very thankful to have had the type of cancer that I had.
Though I don’t update my blog that frequently as it is, I still will be updating it every now and then to let those who are interested know how things are going, PET scan results, and other things I feel the need to share. I am so grateful for all of the people who have supported through this whether it has been through cards, visits, words of encouragement, prayers, and simply keeping up with my blog. When I say I couldn’t have done it without you, I am being sincere. You have really made it easy for me to stay positive and keep my faith in the right place. I only hope that I can bless you someday in the same way that you have blessed me.
IN A NUTSHELL
- I’m DONE WITH CHEMO! wow it feels good to say that
- I am in remission. I will have PET scans every 6 months for the next 5 years to make sure that I don’t have a relapse (or that the cancer doesn’t come back)
- I am so thankful for all of the prayers that have been lifted over the past few months for me to make it to this point and thankful for what this experience has ultimately done for my life