4 years ago today I ran through the kitchen at BLAH out back to answer a call from Chris’s oncologist, Dr. X. When she told me the news, I remember letting out a raw croak, followed immediately by tears. I remember collapsing to the ground. I knew the tumor had been shrinking and the treatments were working, but I had no idea that at only 4 months post-diagnosis, would we be getting such wonderful news. Chris’s tumors were gone! Or as they say: “no sign of disease”! His MRI was clean, his blood panel looked great, and his spirits soared.
Only 4 months, but those 4 months were filled with 8 weeklong (sometimes longer than a week) inpatient high dose chemo treatments. In addition, he had a few sessions of localized radiation (cyberknife) peppered in. Following the remission announcement, he also had 3 (I think) intrathecal (through the spine) chemo treatments, just as a precaution.
And now, 4 years later, here we are celebrating! In the past we have gone hiking on this day to celebrate. Unfortunately, today it was 91 degrees, super humid and major thunderstorms in the forecast. So we decided to delay the annual celebratory hike until the weather looks calmer.
It can sometimes feel very unfamiliar to me now- that feeling of complete despair and total embodiment of fear- and I am very grateful for that. I think about where we have come over these years, how we’ve been molded into this dynamic force to be reckoned with (especially when hand in hand). Or how we’ve learnt that a walk in the woods, a game of Rummy, or a beer for breakfast can be just as special as a whirlwind international travel itinerary- as long as we are together. I am starting to worry less and less and live more and more. We have so much to be thankful for.
So today, I sit back and enjoy an O’Douls Amber, a slice of carrot cake with cream cheese frosting and celebrate his remission, but also him. For he is the most resilient, bravest, determined, stubborn, cynical son of a gun I know. And I am so proud to call him my husband and father to our soon-to-be child.
Cheers to you Chris! May there be 40 more cakes!