September 11 took on a new meaning for me last year.
As the country remembered the horrific events and fallen heroes from 2001,
I was given the most exciting news...I was cancer free!
My oncologist was cautious, as she always is, but I was elated!
No evidence of disease, or NED.
It's as close to remission as a stage 4 patient will ever get.
Although, they can't detect any cancer in me with all their tests and scans,
there could still be microparticles too small to see.
Because of this, I will always be in treatment, but no more chemo for now!
I will receive the drug Herceptin by IV every 3 weeks.
The hardest part is finding a vein.
It is extremely painful, despite my best efforts
to stay hydrated and pump up my veins before infusion.
I have become very good at NOT screaming.
I kind of have a reputation.
But I can take a few minutes of pain, as I have no side effects from this drug!
I get an echocardiogram every 3 months
to make sure my heart is not damaged from the Herceptin treatment.
They will also scan my body every year
and do blood work every 3 months to check for growth.
I also take an oral drug daily, and receive a shot in my belly once a month.
The needle is HUGE!
Every time they stick it in my belly, I think I'm going to spring a leak!
These keep me in chemically induced menopause.
Hooray for no periods, but boohoo on the hot flashes!
My cancer is estrogen fed, and so every effort is made to suppress it.
The side effects from these have been mild too; so blessed!
In October we took the trip of a lifetime to Hawaii!
I researched for months and made a list of everything I wanted to do and taste!
We had never been, and it was a dream come true to be in that beautiful place.
We swam with sea turtles, saw countless rainbows, and ate amazing food!
I want to go back every day!
We are so appreciative of all the wonderful bloggers
who contributed money to make our trip extra special!
We are the luckiest!
As I approach the second anniversary of diagnosis,
and the year mark of the regrowth,
I am super, super excited to begin this year with no cancer!
This will be the first year since 2013
that I will be able to celebrate my birthday without chemo
and eat all the berries without food restrictions!
My 40th celebration will be epic!!!
I have a new appreciation for a whole, well body.
I still marvel when I do my hair without clumps falling out.
I can climb the stairs again without aching legs, well, one flight anyway.
I have been blessed with a doctor who meticulously walks the tightrope of treatment,
carefully evaluating what will be the most effective and least harmful.
I do not take for granted the miracle of survival.
I know the fragility of life and the blessing of each day.
It is a new normal, but still so wonderful.