I received the final word last night after my morning scan….CANCER FREE BABY!!!!!!!! I almost don’t want to believe it until my next PET scan where I can see it for myself. This last round of scanning was done in pieces–a PET that showed something–an inconclusive MRI–a restaging contrast CT of my spine. Which collectively all point to no more cancer! I can’t tell you what an emotional roller coaster these last few years have been. You know that awesome feeling when you pay off a credit card or a student loan, and it’s like this HUGE weight has been lifted off of your shoulders? Ya well this is WAAAAY better than that!! Like I said though–I almost don’t want to believe it, since the last time I was “in remission”, I relapsed 4 weeks later. But that is totes not going to happen this time, because I don’t have that awful alien-like, cancer producing spleen inside of me! That’s right. It took removing 4 lymph nodes, 2 bone marrow biopsies, removing my spleen and a part of my stomach, but ADIOS CANCER! Who needs that shit anyway? Plus I will always have a road map of scars to remember this hard fought battle.
I have been keeping pretty busy leading up to my scan, so as not to have a complete anxiety attack waiting for the results! One thing that has kept me pretty busy is Mack. He started school a few days after my last post. He LOVED the first week. These last few weeks however, we’ve endured major crying fits when we drop him off, ending in “NOOOO DON’T LEAVE MEEEEEE!!!” GUT. WRENCHING. But, as expected, once he is there, he loves it. His “best friend” is a little girl named Quinn. He asked me, “mommy why my best friend a girl for?” To which I responded, “um because girls are awesome”. Duh.
I received my necklace from Heather Moore Jewelry. Seriously, it is amazing. I cried when I saw it. It really is so special to me. The ID tag has “I love You” on one side, written by Derek, and “Mack” on the other, written by Mack. There is a compass (so that I never lose my way), and on the other side, my birthday along with my new birthday (stem cell date). I love it so so much 🙂 Thank you all from Heather Moore, Hedges in Chagrin Falls, and for all of those who voted for me for the Woman of The Year contest. ❤
I wanted to update everyone on my best friend’s daughter Rosie. A lot of people have been emailing me about her progress. Talk about a fighter–that girl has some spunk! Rosie was lucky to receive a donor liver from a young deceased organ donor, who was a match. The surgery was long, but very successful so far. Unfortunately since Rosie will be living in Pittsburgh at the Children’s Hospital for a few months so that her progress can be closely monitored, her family has incurred quite a number of medical expenses. A benefit is being held for sweet Rosie on November 9th in the Youngstown, Ohio area. Please see the flyer posted below, and keep her and her family in your prayers. They are all amazing people who I am so proud and grateful to have in my life. Love you Mannings/Buzzaccos 🙂 You can follow Rosie’s progress on her family’s blog: Rosie/Manning blog
My bucket list goal of training and running a half marathon was temporarily squashed when I heard the Cleveland marathon was canceled due to low participation! WTF?! My luck completely. But low and behold, there is a 1/2 marathon the very next day, Sunday Oct 12th at the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Hopefully my friends and family will come to support me in this race!! I’m trying hard to get some decent training time in, but its been hard with all listed above! Here is the info on the race, in case anyone wants to run with me, or come meet me at the finish line (hopefully with a beer in your hand…) http://www.towpathtrilogy.net/Marathon/
Little Sadie has been keeping us really busy too. She has eaten approximately 6 inches of electrical wiring, after chewing through our Internet line 3 times in 24 hours, urinated in my left running shoe, and has eaten probably 1/2 lb of mulch from the backyard. Her poops have been amazing.
I have been very lucky to have such a wonderful support system throughout this difficult time. Really really lucky. People always say what a positive attitude I have had, but I hate to say it wasn’t always that way. For that, I credit my friend Kris. After my diagnosis, I was really in a funk. I did what you should NEVER do, and googled my disease/stage/potential prognosis. Let’s just say that the majority of the results entailed selecting a person to give my eulogy. Derek really tried to be strong for me, but it was hard for him too, having lost his dad to lymphoma some years back. I was shocked that the cancer wasn’t caught early, and even more shocked to not have a prognosis. I wanted desperately for one of my doctors to tell me straight up, “you’re going to live”, but became even more depressed when I realized that they couldn’t tell me that. It was Kris who said to me, you know who doesn’t care about your prognosis? Mack. Children live in the moment, and you need to learn to never take one day for granted. (Her words were much more eloquent than that–I’m paraphrasing). I mentioned in my post the day ater Kris passed that she saved my life. Did you know that it has been medically proven that cancer patients suffering from depression have a much higher mortality rate than those who don’t? Did you know that cancer patients who maintained a positive attitude throughout chemotherapy treatments, recovered quicker and with less side effects that those who didn’t? Did you know that exercise increases endorphins in your body, which in turn makes you happier? (Ok, that last one may have been from Legally Blonde). Did you know that just months before Kris died she was getting up at 4am and working out on the elliptical for an hour, even with 2 small children, working full time, and with 3rd degree radiation burns on her chest? Truth grenade. Boom. It was Kris who pulled me out of my depression. And so, it was she who saved my life.
For what it’s worth, here are some quotes that got me through the hardest of hard times. I hope that they will inspire others to keep going. No matter what.
“Pick yourself up and get your shit together. You are NOT going to die. Things can always be worse.”–Random lady
“Mommy you’re not sick, just your blood is”–Mack
“My biggest fear is my kids not remembering who I am, but I realize now that it’s out of my hands. What I have to do now is give them something to remember”–KS
As this next stage of my life approaches–the stage without cancer–All I can think is this: Maybe I won’t be cancer free for the rest of my life. But I AM cancer free for now. So for now, I’ll continue to get stronger mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally. I’m not giving in. And if the time comes again, I’ll be ready. Ready to kick some ass.
Kris-This song is for you:
And this? Well this one is for me 🙂