Jun 9, 2012

LIVING the Dream....

Last Sunday was National Cancer Survivor Day.

Funny word......

On Friday I had a follow up appointment with my oncologist to get the results of my recent PET scan from end of May. I was sure it would be clear, because the tech's had told me about the wonderful Pho the had gone out to get during my scan. I assume that meant there was nothing interesting to look at...

My doctor was unusually candid during this appointment, he told me he had a day of bad news, and my appointment was to be quite refreshing! We went over the usual updates, I filled him in on every creak and crook I have felt over the last 5 months and he did a visual review of my tumor/surgery area. All standard stuff for this appointment.

And then he began to read me my scan results...

Lots of underlined words could be seen through the translucent paper making my blood pressure start to rise as he started in.....my throat always seems to choke up at this point in the appointment, and I find myself slightly holding my breath, hanging on his every word.

Sitting here with the same paper in my hands now
I see that he had underlined every time the report said "NO".

"NO" reoccurrance
"NO" metastatic signs

He then let me know that he was, again, so confident in my recovery status that he was moving me to the 6 month PET scan schedule. Another milestone. AMAZING!

He actually said the radiologist were so bored with my non-cancer status, they were reporting on my acne scars for something to write about.  That's pretty funny when you had stage 3, aggressive, rare and 'not sure how to cure' cancer a year ago........(I also understand that I might be the ONLY one who finds any of this laughable, and I am totally ok with that. ;)

Back in the doctors office, where time seems to stand still, the air is close and makes my head spin as time seems to be both completely stopped and moving way too fast at the same time. I sit in a side chair a little dumbfounded about the expanded schedule....
Quizically, I said what now?

And his reply was, "Go live your life."

And then, I cried.
No. I wept.
Tears of Joy.  Release.  Relief.

For the next 3 days off and on when I thought of those words, I wept.

sur·vivor n. one who lives through affliction
While I am now considered a survivor by the above definition, I would better define myself as "LIVING."

I don't want to become complacent or to take for granted the fact that I was given a chance.
I don't want to be just a survivor, I want to be a contributor.

My commute gives me sunrises and sunsets, my daughter's snotty kisses fill my heart, my hubby's warm hugs after long work days make me look forward my everyday. I am honored that I get to embrace the rest of my life and know in God's plan, I keep moving forward!

Vida LaRue, Lake Otay May 2012


Faye and Yvonne said...

ok, you made me cry my friend. You will always be a survivor no matter what obstacle life throws at you. You are a fighter and will always be that way. As i write this, im hearing Jason Mraz , "I wont give up".. couldnt be a better song for you.

Rachel K. Lincoln said...

Thanks Yvonne!! xoxo (u made me cry too ;)

Jenna Tunes said...

I have learned that a good cry of relief is both the end and the beginning. Looking forward to the good things in this next phase.

Nicole Bassett said...

What I love about reading your story is that it is a reminder for me to live my life to its fullest. One does not have to wait for a terrifying event like you went through to know how precious life is and i thank you every time you write for this gift you give me.

So today I will seize it and be in the moment that is given to me, be it joy, or fatigue, grumpy or laughter, it is the life I have now and the one I shall love.

Thank you Rachel

beckieM said...

it is amazing to me sometimes that we seem to have more emotion here at the 'end' of this journey, than we did all the way through .... but you can't cry while holding your breath.... and now,these tears are tears of joy. Love you forever. Mom

the pattern

Just as soon as you think nothing will ever be the same again...you fall back into life's steady pace. L I F E  R E M E M B E R S  T ...