You made it. You heard those wonderful words that every cancer patient longs to hear. You are in remission. You passed the biggest test you will probably ever take; and beat the big demon cancer. Now it’s time to celebrate! Hair is coming back, you are starting to feel better and your new normal is coming together. Of course you are still tied to the Doctor with follow-ups, lab work and scans but you are starting to taste the freedom.
The first month after I was told I was in remission was awesome. The chemo fog was lifting and I was really enjoying the rest of my maternity leave. Then the second month came and with that my looming scan was on the horizon. I am not going to lie scan day is awful for me. I am nervous and pretty much feel like I am going to vomit until I get those awesome words. You know the ones that your scan and lab work is good and you are free for another three months.
After two years of remission (yay!) I received another dose of awesomeness. I have now graduated into a six month scan schedule. As long as I am a good girl and get my yearly physical I can do my scans every six months instead of every three. Nice on the anxiety level and the pocket-book.
I may have played down the anxiety regarding scan time. The anxiety starts rearing its ugly head about a month and a half before scan day. There is a lot of me refusing to go to any appointments and coming up with tons of reasons I have cancer again. If you have ever had cancer you know what I am talking about. Your finger can hurt and you think this is it; my cancer is back. In the end I always end up going. Of course I am trying to read the faces of the lab tech and radiology techs. (Like the lab tech knows if my cancer is back by the looks of my blood when it is still in the tube) I am always sure that the radiology tech has seen cancer all over in my body by the look on their face. They are probably just creeped out by me looking at them all of the time but whatever. Then after a couple of hours that creep by like a turtle on its way into town; it is Doctor time. You just know your fate; the cancer is back. Then they come in the room and tell you everything is clear and you wish you would have brought a bottle of champagne and those streamers to celebrate.
Remission is something to celebrate. Not just after a clear scan but everyday. You fought the good fight and you won. You may not know it but us survivors are an example for our fellow fighters still sitting in that recliner getting chemo. They need to be lifted up just like you may have during treatment. So let them know; after surgeries, procedures, chemo, radiation and tons of testing you did it! Now you can call yourself a survivor and they can too. Remission life does have its ups and downs with scary testing and side effects from treatment but you need to enjoy it. Keep fighting through the anxiety and side effects just like you did during treatment. Get out and live life for yourself, your family and everyone out there still fighting. Really no one loses to cancer. Even when angels are taken from us they did not lose. They fought as hard as they could to stay and that is a great accomplishment. Now, if you are in remission enjoy the remission life and get out and live it. Do something you may not have done before treatment or something you have always wanted to do. I feel like I was given a second chance at life and I am going to live it up and have some fun. I encourage everyone to enjoy the remission life 🙂