Chemo is even more fun when it’s preceded by good scan results, and that’s just what I got on Monday. Instead of beating around the bush, Dr. Lenz always just comes right out with the results, and Monday was no different. Right after giving me a big hug, he said, “Scan results are good” as he passed a copy of the report to my mom. We already sort of knew that they’d be good given my CEA number, which is still dropping – this time, from a 9.2 to an 8.4. But it’s always nice to have some reinforcement from the radiologist’s report.
We also discussed a small blood clot that I have in my jugular vein -- a likely result of having this port in my chest since October of 2010. Not a big deal re: the clot -- it's not in an especially dangerous place, it's small, I'm staying on Lovenox (of course) and Dr. Lenz isn't really concerned about it. I bet it's already resolved itself by now, but if it hasn't, it will soon. Bottom line is I get to work out just as I always have, so I'm a happy camper.
Ok, back to the scan results.
Essentially, the tiny bits of disease in my intestines are still way too small for the CT scan to pick up – no shock there. The only suspicious stuff on my scan are some slightly enlarged lymph nodes, which are shrinking. So basically, there’s a little bit of disease just chillin’ in my belly, preparing for its eventual demise. A few punks who didn't get the memo last February. A few foolish cells that think they can outlast me. Not so, foolish cells. I'm coming for you, every second of every day. And I'm in no hurry. I'm stalking this disease like Michael Myers in a Halloween movie -- moving confidently and slowly, knowing that I'm going to make a killing in due time (yes, I just compared myself to Michael Myers).
This round went smoothly, though I did sneak in a nap or two later in the week, probably because I was pretty active early in the week. On Monday night, I went to a movie (Cabin in the Woods – a scary movie, of course!) with my high school buddy Meghan, and on Tuesday, I went to the L.A. Sparks home opener with Will and Tim. I tried to keep yesterday and today especially low-key since I’ve got an early morning Foundation meeting at Norris/Keck tomorrow morning and I’ve gotta be 100% for that (I’m planning big things over here, if you hadn't guessed).
It’s hard to believe that I’ve been in treatment for over a year and a half, but as each day passes, I not only feel more grateful for the life I’ve been given, but more patient in my approach to beating this disease. In many ways, living the full, healthy, happy life that I’m living is beating the disease. Cancer hasn’t slowed me down and isn’t limiting the things I’m doing in my life. In fact, it has helped me broaden my horizons what with the Foundation, my cancer warrior t-shirt line, and my book. Beating cancer isn't all about remission or a cure -- it's about not letting the disease get you down, stop you from enjoying your life, or crushing your spirit. Obviously, I want to “beat” it in the literal sense of going into long-term remission (as in, life-long remission), but I’m calm and collected about reaching that goal. No matter how long it takes, I’m enjoying the journey, and that’s the true victory.