Monday, August 15, 2011

A Future

"Elissa, hi, this is Dr. Gordon. Just wanted to let you know that everything looked great on the scan. Nothing abnormal, actually, so I think you're where we want you to be. You can give me a call anytime. Talk to you later, bye."

This message and a subsequently returned call to Dr. Gordon a few minutes later (two days before I was expecting results; what a mensch!) confirmed the best scan results possible. No activity on the PET scan and nothing on the CT except for some scar tissue in the location of the original tumor in my chest that started it all. No measurable cancer. My scans were clear.

It took me a couple of hours to move from the spot where I heard the message, returned the doctor's call, and took a couple of minutes to cry tears of relief, joy, and a blend of other emotions.
Having been elated by good news so many times, only to be crushed by the bad, it's hard not to scan the situation for all possibilities. But all here are positive. At a minimum, this sanctions my return to DC and buys me three months until my next set of scans. At the most, this is the beginning of a future clear of this burden, this hurdle, this medical, emotional and personal education that I didn't ask for but got anyway. A future full of choices and opportunities and the full range of human experiences that I'm destined to have. A future.

Since 100 days is a significant milestone after a transplant, (risk of acute Graft Versus Host Disease decreases, some medications can be adjusted, etc.) I will likely plan to return to Washington shortly after, in early September, with monthly visits to my doctor here in Chicago for awhile.


While I know that healing from a transplant is an involved year-long process and that I will not be proclaimed cured until I have five years of clean scans, I am hopeful those five years begin today. I am hopeful that the transition from being a person with cancer, to a person who had cancer, begins today. I am hopeful that I get to start writing a new chapter, beginning today.

19 comments:

Sammie said...

Prayer works, medicine works, positive energy works, and perserverence (on your part) pays off! This is joyous news! (And shows that we absolutely have to redouble our efforts for Gift of Life!)

Sally said...

This is GREAT NEWS. I am so happy to hear it. And very great that you can return to DC soon. WOW!!!

Rob said...

Elissa, Cara forwarded your great news to me this morning. I am so happy that you have passed another milestone on your way to good health. Savor these moments of joy.

womenwithcancer said...

Elissa, This is wonderful news! I am so happy for you. I have really enjoyed your blog. Continued best wishes and prayers, Sara Moore

JanetheWriter said...

Wishing you continued good health and lots more good news!

Harboring thoughts said...

So very happy for you and your family. You have been so strong and positive and your family has been with you every step of the way.

Hooray for you, Elissa. They need you badly in DC, so get on over there.

Joy said...

There are not enough exclamation points in the world to say, "HOORAY!!!!!!!!!!!!" I am so excited, and can't wait to welcome you back! I will even forgive you for making me tear up (tears of joy! pun only sort of intended) in my office (probably a good reason not to check my RSS feeds at work...).

Gideon Bob said...

Yes. Yes. So glad to read this. Yes.

Betty (picture circa 1951) said...

That is such good news!

Suburban Sweetheart said...

A joyous day! <3

Christine said...

My friend, this is great news!

Micaela said...

Elissa what a wonderful new start! Yahoo!

Elyssa said...

This is the best news ever! I literally have tears in my eyes. Couldn't be happier for you Elissa. I look forward to welcoming you back to DC.

Carly How said...

YES YES YES!!! I've been hoping for this post ever since I saw you at NMH! Wishing you all the best!!!

Sally said...

She Who Has a Why got commented on by a How! Now we just need Who and What and we have a Laurel and Hardy routine.

diane grigg said...

To YOU! To YOUR FUTURE!

with respect and fondness, diane

Shayne Pilpel said...

In a business full of sadness and sometimes desperation it is so nice to read some great news!
Elissa i wish you nothing but continued health and greatness. I know once you become 100 percent thats exactly what you will acheive.

Elissa said...

Thank you for all your kind and enthusiastic comments! Excited to celebrate with you.

Debra said...

I guess I am a little behind in hearing this AMaZING news....but...YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Cant wait to have you back in DC! :)