Tuesday was a stellar day. I don’t usually say that about my chemo appointments. The chemo was yucky and side effects nasty as usual, but my doctor’s visit was amaaaaazing! Every two to three months, I have a chest and lower abdomen CT scan. Waiting for results is excruciating. They take a long time due how many patients need them and the shortage of doctors reading them.
Cancer patients like to refer to scan time as “scanxiety”. Scanxiety is the anxiety associated with “the waiting” to know your results. In my humble opinion, waiting is the worst part. I am an impatient person by nature, so you can envision how waiting for a high stakes result would impact my mental health! Over the past two years, I have had negative results, positive results, negative results, positive results, negative results..the fear of treatment not working…the fear that cancer has spread…the fear of running out of options.
Living in fear just sucks.
But yesterday’s doctor’s appointment was filled with hope! When I was first diagnosed with colorectal cancer in December of 2017, I had a tumor in my colon, a very large tumor in my liver along with 2 or 3 small spots, and two small tumors in my lungs. Surgery was not an option for me because the tumors were (and still are) in too many lobes of my liver.
My scans this time showed all of the tumors in my lungs are gone as well as a small one in my liver. Even the biggest one is about ½ of its original size. It is still huge, but Like I said, AMAZING!
I want to take the time to acknowledge my excellent team at the Arthur G. James cancer (little “c” in cancer because it will not be given any respect) Hospital. The admission staff, the RN’s, the nurse practitioners, the technicians, the custodial staff, the pharmacists, and the doctors ALL work tirelessly to make a terrifying experience less so by helping us find hope. I am sure I am missing people in my list, but virtually EVERYONE at The James wants to help the patients and families to live their best life.
They smile, they listen, and they care. It is genuine and can’t be faked. I really can’t imagine a more special group of people. When I have an appointment, I am never rushed. I am always asked about every aspect of my health: physical, mental, and emotional. No problem is ever deemed too small to investigate a solution to make my life better. I am encouraged to live the full life that I crave. So thank you to the staff at the James, and thank you to all the front line workers out in the world today. Words cannot express the value you add to my life. I appreciate every single one of you. Where you find hope you find a reason to party my friends.