My mom asked yesterday how the appointment went and if I felt better after asking McDermott all my questions. I told her that I'm glad everything went well but I feel in a freefall to not have another follow-up for a year. (Really, next step is a MRI in a year.) She told me that oncology patients often feel a sense of loss at the end of chemo treatments too; while they are obviously thrilled to be done with their treatment, the doctors and nurses have become a version of their family.

The longest time I've ever spent with McDermott was 4+ hours in an operating room while I was unconscious and yet I feel closer with him and his NP Jennifer than most of the humans I know. (I asked him what color the tumor was and he said "pink cauliflower." C.R.A.Y.).

My mom left this morning to go back to NY, Chris starts ramping back to work next week, today starts a new month (hello, June), our Meal Train ends tonight. It feels like this chapter is authentically closing. 

And I am glad - I've been staring at a May calendar for 31 days, willing time to move faster so I could sleep and feel better and chew easier and the whole lot. 

But I built tethers to get me through May, some of which I can move forward with but some that are expiring or just not useful anymore. So I also feel like it's the first day of school, on the doorstep of a new grade and new experiences. 

I'm able to read more now. In fact I finished the first Harry Potter, got through the second and am into the third book. Doesn't it piss you off that Voldemort shows up in each book and when HP defeats him, no one says "HEY LET'S FINISH HIM OFF." The dude is weak but he still exists

Yesterday McDermott said that 50% of meningiomas recur within 25 years. This broke my heart. Chris later explained that because mine was Simpson grade 1, it's much less likely for me, but still. I thought a lot about damn Voldemort and meningiomas yesterday and that I hate the idea of going through this again. 

And yet. I also thought about HP and how he kicks it in third year, hanging with friends and learning lots and having a fun time on a broomstick while knowing Voldie is still out there. 

You can't let fear of what MIGHT happen again bust your ability to do great things.  So I'll cut some tethers loose and move into June looking for new ones. 


Anonymous said...

I hesitate but, no, I need to say this to you.
50% of tumors like you had recur within 25 years is A GREAT STAT!

1) 50% of them DO NOT
2) 25 years is a LONG TIME
3) You had a low grade, more good news
4) In 25 years there will likely be even better treatments, probably targeted therapies that may negate surgery completely with quick recoveries.
5) You have a LIFE now, appreciate it!!! Can you fathom how many millions of mothers wish they had your good fortune?! BE THANKFUL.

Jen said...

:) I am- very thankful! Just sharing the true reaction and feelings I had.

Erica said...

Jen, thanks for sharing your thoughts and feelings with all of us. I check in on your blog often, hoping that you'll share another slice of what you're going through. As Brene Brown says, it's in our vulnerability that we make real connections. Based on how vulnerable and open you've been recently, I'd say you're about to make hundreds - no, make that THOUSANDS! - of new connections. And every single one will open you up to something important and exciting and interesting!!