Wednesday, December 29, 2010

all Ds are not alike

as many of you know, Monday was Andrew's restaging PET/CT scan and yesterday was Andrew's last scheduled chemo. we have very much been looking forward to starting the new year right - cancer-free!

Andrew has officically completed 6 chemo cycles (2 treatments = 1 cycle). standard treatment duration is 4 cycles. in cases with more extensive disease, 2 additional cycles are added on 'just to make sure'. what that means is that there should not be one single itty-bitty little Reed-Sternberg cell left at this point to foment havoc or disaster.

although things went very smoothly yesterday, it was not the day of crazy rejoicing we hoped for. prior to chemo, nurse practitioner extraordinaire Shanda gave us our copy of the PET CT report:

as you can see, unfortunately we will not be starting the new year cancer-free. 2 cm = a whole passel of little R-S devils. as bad news goes, though, it is good because there is only the one spot. hopefully this means 'just' adding on a course of involved field radiation (vs having to move on to myeloablative chemo and stem cell transplant). we will be told the recommended plan in two weeks when we see the oncologist. in the interim, we are simply going to focus on all that is good and right in the world.

we know we are so very lucky in so many ways. we have each other and continue to find ways to move closer together through, instead of being shredded apart by, the enormous strain.
we also have so many wonderful, loving, amazing friends and family to help buoy us up. every day we are blessed anew with loving cards (special shout-out to Judi for always managing one more inspiring message and joyful card), thoughtful actions, and little joys.

finally, we are very aware that Disappointed is not the same as Defeated! as Andrew said shortly after we got the news, apparently his cells are just a little slow in processing the truth of his new cancer-free status. Andrew's body has taken its own path every step this far - why would things be different now?

in the end, we remain steady in our resolve and faith... but today, today is still just plain hard. today is a day of melancholy.

tomorrow we will set it aside and refill our souls with joy, wonder and laughter. we will drive to Nashville to be with my parents. together we will enjoy the lighting of our family's live Christmas tree for the first time since he was planted in the yard over two decades ago. not to be outdone, New Year's Eve offers an amazing concert to welcome another year.

for now, that must be - and is - enough.


Pam said...

Beautifully and honestly written. Much, much love is flowing to you both...Mom

magnusmog said...

Thinking of you both - the love you have for each other is the best medicine. x