I apologize if I’ve left some of you in suspense.
My December 6, 2022 scan was clear. I appreciate that the doctors and nurses at Moffitt don’t do any of the chit chat before sharing the results. They understand what patients need to hear ASAP.
Dr. Reed only had one foot in the door before declaring, “Scan looks good!”
Then we could chit chat.
The farther I go between scans and visiting Moffitt, the more surreal and distant my journey seems. The check-in process was different, the blood draw area was different, masks weren’t mandatory, and I was able to see my team’s full faces! I was even able to eat lunch with Nelson at the cafeteria without having PTSD.
Bonus: Our friend Amy was volunteering in the GI department that day so we got to see her and pray before my scan and after we got the news!
Later that evening we celebrated at a popular Tampa steakhouse with friends (which is a whole other surreal story in itself). It was also my first time eating caviar.
I am so happy to have been a good news bearer for Dr. R that day.
There has been something he’s said a few times over the course of our oncological relationship that has always struck me and never fully felt the weight of it until recently. He has said something along the lines of, “I’m sorry for torturing you.”
On the patient side, I viewed the efforts as necessary to save my life. But I never considered the weight of the responsibility of watching someone go through treatment that IS torturous. Watching them go from a full head of hair to bald, from a person that can walk on their own two feet to being in a wheelchair, from a healthy weight to pale skin and bones. Knowing that while what you’re doing is trying to save a life, but it is also killing them.
On a side note, today, December 15, is the two year anniversary of my cancer diagnosis. I can’t believe it’s been two years. On this date last year, I hiked to the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail to make my mark and reclaim my place in humanity. This year will come and go with very little fanfare. But I’m spending the day as restfully and peacefully as possible. We’re getting a wonderful, rainy day which always makes my heart happy – snuggles, candles, naps, and a good book.