Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Feelings on Beating Cancer

So it looks like Chris is done with cancer! Even the big mass that the after-chemo-CT scan showed in his chest  is apparently just dead or scar tissue since the PET scan did not show any signs whatsoever of active cancer in his chest.  What?! This news was so different than what I was expecting that I found it really hard to believe. This means that all the prayers and the fasting and everything way back in February and March were answered even though for most of April we've been under the assumption that the fight wasn't quite over and we were rounding up the emotional and physical troops to rally for a month of daily radiation. Foward.....March! Wait, nevermind. Stop, go home, the war is over....so I guess that means its time to party, right?

This really is amazing news and I have spent a long time offering prayers and entertaining thoughts of gratitude.  I'm sooo glad our doctor thought to check with all the other lymphoma oncologist to get a consensus for Chris' next step (PET scan or radiation), before just going straight to radiation like he thought.

I was feeling a bit down on myself for having such a hard time accepting this good news, this miracle. Its hard to describe. I think this situation has been hard to trust partly because I was quite prepared for bad news (I had even found and pre-appreciated some silver linings) and also partly because I was wanting the "cancer free" news to come in a very definite, momentous way.  This amazing news was also clouded by the PET scan showing some "uptake" in Chris prostate and the thought that maybe Chris had beat lymphoma cancer only to face prostate cancer was quite heavy.

Chris had an exam with the doctor on Monday to check the small "uptake" visible on the PET scan and thanks to one of my running friends who watched my kids at a park I was able to go with Chris.  I'm really glad I went because the visit gave me a chance to talk with the doctor and ask all my questions and really start to feel like we're done, like we survived cancer.  The exam itself went well and since he didn't feel any bumps or lumps and since Chris doesn't exhibit any symptoms, I feel fine with believing the small amount of "uptake" to be caused by some other normal-ish circumstance and to believe Chris does not have more cancer!

Plus, while we were waiting, Chris located some article in some magazine that talked about post-treatment feelings. Apparently its extremely normal for people in our situation to have mixed feelings about everything.  Some people even find it to be one of the tougher times. Throughout this whole process, Chris and I have jokingly drawn a parallel between his cancer experience and pregnancy: long term nausea, tiredness, certain muscle atrophy, emotional ups and downs etc. And so right now we'd be entering the postpartum period (I guess he gets to skip Labor and Delivery!) and no one really loves being postpartum -- of course setting aside having a new, sweet baby to love.  Oh and speaking of new babies, we also got a chance to ask the doctor all of our questions about fertility at the exam on Monday, and we didn't really get any good or definite answers except he usually recommends waiting 6 months to a year before even thinking about having more kids.

Anyway. Lots to think about, lots to be grateful for, lots to be happy about. It is slowly starting to sink in. I'm not sure how to end this post and Alec is getting impatient to start his reading lesson so I'll just be brief and end with a general and yet truly heartfelt:  Thanks to everyone for everything.

11 comments:

MandaMommy said...

Hip hip HOOOOORAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!! We are SOOOOOO happy for you guys! Hugs to all of you!

merilee said...

I'm so glad to hear the great news!! Its probably hard to trust this because your experience with cancer is a reminder that there are many things in our life that we have no control over. It leaves us feeling vulnerable.
Try to enjoy and always remember that no matter what ... your Heavenly Father IS in control and will help you with whatever you need. Love you guys!!

Katie B. said...

Hooray! Hooray! That is such good news. Bother it all--I was going to say, "I want to give all of you a big hug," but I realized that then I'd have said almost exactly what Amanda said. I guess we just feel the same. :)

Aaron, Cera, Jaylen and Gavin said...

So so happy for you guys!!!!!!!! I couldn't believe it either when I read Chris's post about his results. So awesome! You guys are amazing!!!!

Jess said...

We are so happy for the good news. Good work - - you guys should take a much needed vacation! We love you!

The Breakwell Family said...

Brittney, I am so happy for you guys. You are amazing.

The Breakwell Family said...

Brittney, I am so happy for you guys. Wonderful news. You are amazing.

kelsey said...

Hurray, hurray, hurray!!!!!!!!!!

dixie said...

When you've been through such an ordeal, it is hard to let go of all that and really celebrate. Something keeps saying, but, but, what if... Stifle those voices, trust the docs and celebrate!!! We join you in expressing deepest gratitude.

lanaface said...

Nicely said Merilee and Dixie!

Super duper congrats to you both for facing the beast in the eyes and dissintegrating it with your lazer like endurance.

Warning inappropriate caner joke (say while wearing a read bandana):

"Hey cancer, hide yo' kids and hide yo' wife cause the Archibald's are comin' up in here"

Hawks said...

Thats great news! I have been thinking of you lately and glad you are done!!