Remission Day 2010

This morning as I post this I am waiting for the sun to meet me. Seems to be an overcast kind of day. Not much sun at this hour.

It’s just getting lighter out. 

For the 3rd year in a row on May 18th I have gotten up to meet the sun, today is the anniversary (if you will) of the day I was informed the chemo had worked and the CT scan to check for any remaining cancer found none.

NED (No Evidence of Disease) has been my status since 5/18/2007 and after 3 years of looking for it via PET/CT scans and check ups etc my Onc recently let me off the hook. We are no longer “looking for it” and life moves again.

This morning the only thing meeting me because the sun is not are the birds, I hear the birds chatting up a storm this morning. I have my coffee in a new mug purchased in Orlando having been to Disney this past week, sitting in shorts and a t-shirt listening to the birds “talking” amongst themselves  as the day dawns.

It’s otherwise very quiet at this hour. The world outside my town house is quiet, no one moving, no cars, no people, no dogs. Just me, my coffee and the Birds.

I sit here and think about “What If” not in a morbid way but reality being what it is, you know What If…?

What if the Kidney cancer had metastasized? or the Lymphoma was more aggressive?

The answer is: I wouldn’t be here typing this post right now. I know what the odds are (or were) and none of this is lost on me. I’m still here by the Grace of God, science and chemistry.

But the point is, I am still here. 

I am still here to love everyday even for the mundane tasks, still here to watch my kids grow up, to love my wife another day (and argue if necessary) I’m still here to remember Steve who passed away a year and a half ago and it still feels like a punch in the gut every time I think about him.

I’m still here to dwell on why.

I’m still here to remember the people we know we have lost to cancer who don’t have the option of drinking coffee on their front porch listening to the birds chirp this morning.

I’m still here in some sense still estranged from my family but aware of my mother’s condition, thinking about a man from California I never met who lost his battle with Kidney cancer and went on to be with the Lord. I read his wife’s blog almost everyday. We are friends on facebook and I think about her a lot too. She is still here, living with out him now and how my wife (to certain point) understands what she feels.

My wife felt the pain of knowing how fast this could unravel and entertained the “What If.”  

Realistically having to ask: What if the cancer didn’t respond to the chemo? What if I died on the table in surgery? What if the kidney cancer has spread? What if she ended up a window with 2 kids under the age of ten? All very real possibilities. At the time these questions had to be asked and considered, by both of us. (as far as I know we asked and considered these questions by ourselves, internally. Everything happened so fast we never really talked about all of it or any of it.) IT JUST WAS.

Unfortunately my facebook friend in California  knows exactly what that “What if” feels like…and my heart goes out to her every single day.

The spouses who have wrestled with the same questions, whether with their cancer afflicted mates or internally…have all grappled with the possibility of death after a cancer diagnosis. My heart aches for the afflicted as well as the spouse who was thrust into the unforgiving role of “care giver” and for them it’s an almost thankless job because the spot light is always on the survivor.

Well, we (the survivors) know who held our hands in the infusion room, who we said goodbye to as we were wheeled into surgery. We know who the UNSUNG heroes were beside us as we dealt with the physical and emotional sides of cancer, our wives/husbands/family members dealt with their own emotional anguish when dealing with the cancer that was forced into their lives too. It screws up the whole house and turns life upside down in a split second, everything changes. Forever.

Today is 3 solid years of Remission. No cancer to be found. No Evidence of Disease. Amen.

I celebrate with the birds (and the sun behind the clouds) and will go to work and do all the usual mundane Tuesday things that need to be done today and unlike many who might see today as just another day in the week, I see it as a marker that I am still here. The Cancer didn’t win and even doing the everyday mundane is an adventure.

Because I continue to dwell on what if

Some people might think I shouldn’t think about what if and enjoy my life from here forward. I do. I am continuing to live but I can’t help but think about how close I came to not being able to think “What If”

What if keeps me aware.

My scars are reminders of What If.

I think What If is the only way I can look at life right now, thru the chemo stained lenses of my journey from December 19th 2006 until July 3rd 2007.

May 18th 2007 was part of my journey to where I am this morning. 

Today is May 18,  2010: NED 3 years and counting…


Be well, Scotty


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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Scotty, I am moved to tears that you think of me and Michael the way you do. Your friendship is a blessing, and if we don’t get the chance to meet in this lifetime, I look forward to a Heavenly meet up some glorious day.

    In the meantime, I celebrate with you! What an incredible gift you’ve been given by the One who made you to live and love and learn some more. I love that you have a grateful heart for what you’ve been given.

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