Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Don't Come Around Now, You're Not Welcome Anymore

This week brings my 39th Birthday. There was a time that I was feeling depressed about this Birthday. After all, once you hit 39 it’s all downhill. It’s all wrinkles and senility and gray hair. But that line of thinking was pre-cancer. Another Birthday means I’m still alive and kicking. My 38th year will hopefully be known as the year I kicked cancer’s ass. And each future Birthday means I’ve managed to fend off the reaper another year.

I had my PET Scan today. It was my fourth one. My last one was in March. I had forgotten it was so long ago. The previous Scan was just after my last chemotherapy treatment, but just before radiation. My radiation ended in late May, so cancer has had two months post any type of treatment to re-invade. As I sat there before my scan, I couldn’t help but to think back to my previous scans. The first two were gray wintery days. I remember looking out the window and thinking that the weather certainly matched my mood. Those were the worst of days. The first scan was just after I had been diagnosed, and I was finding out the extent of the cancer. The second scan was after three chemo treatments. The brutality of chemo had started to take a toll on my mental state. I kept a brave face, but I was tired and scared.

Today was a beautiful sunny day. I chatted with Joe and Cheryl and met the new nuclear technician in training. The staff at the PET center have become familiar faces that bring a bit of comfort. The mood was light and cheerful. It was as if we were old friends getting together for lunch and catching up. The Scan went fine and I’ll get the results from my oncologist on Thursday afternoon. I am hoping for an all clear – it would be the ultimate birthday present.

And although I can’t help but to feel a little fear about the results, I am facing the future with the knowledge that I can handle whatever comes my way. If it comes back, I will fight it with everything I have. I want to see my 40th Birthday. I am counting the days until I turn 50. I want to get old. I want to forget where I put my teeth.

Thank you to the American Cancer Society for more Birthdays. It is organizations like you that provide the funding and awareness that makes it possible for more treatments and cures.

Keep your fingers crossed for me on Thursday! I'm hoping to be celebrating on Friday!

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