I had my three month follow up visit with the oncologist the other day. I have to say that sitting in the cancer center waiting room while seven months pregnant was a… memorable experience? I’ve learned since then that many women are treated with chemo while pregnant. I think this is amazing. While I am grateful treatment options exist for women in my condition, I am glad I don’t currently need any cancer treatment. For once, it’s really not all about me.
Still, I have been worried about my symptoms and the possibility of a reoccurrence for some time now. Living on that edge is uncomfortable and draining, to say the least. I was fortunate that I was able to meet directly with my oncologist- the man whom I can look in the eyes and study for any shadow of doubt in his expression. After we went over my blood work and physical symptoms, he told me confidently that after another 18 months or so, this would be behind me. As it is now, the cancer door is basically shut.
Simply stated, he isn’t worried about my future, so neither am I.
All patients have to make a decision for themselves about how they will navigate the space between reliable medical care and self-advocacy. There is no right or clear answer there. I am choosing to rely on the man who has decades of experience and education. I am relying on him because he knows me, he listens to me, he answers my questions. For the sake of my happiness and well being, I’m confidently relying on his judgment.
His reassurances give me the permission I needed to carry on with life as usual. I feel like I am allowed to put cancer behind me, at least for now. For now, I get to focus on my family, my work, and this baby. I get to look ahead with hope rather than fear what may or may not happen to me.
If he is wrong, and someday it turns out I have to face disease again, I will do that. But I don’t have control over that, so letting go of that tight grip is a welcome respite. For now, it is an incredible gift to move forward without constant worry. That is enough. And enough is more than I could have asked for.
Give ‘Em Hell