Cancer in the past tense.

Admittedly, I hesitated to share this news. Not because I’m a Debbie Downer or Negative Nellie. I’m just a Cautious Cathy. I need to be 100% sure before I celebrate (or eat a bag of chips on the couch).

My mom’s lumpectomy occurred two weeks ago. And it went well. Very, very well.

There was a long waiting period. In the waiting room – multiple waiting rooms. And sometimes the waiting got to me. Made me worry and wonder. Caused me to pause and pray.

So, when the surgeon entered the waiting room and approached our seats, her smile said it all. She was pleased with her handiwork. The tumor was tiny and removed with ease. The margins were clean. One sentinel node was removed. Everything was biopsied and tested. Initial pathology pointed to clean results.

Translated: cancer free

Thanking the surgeon, my dad asked husbandly questions about when the final results would be in, what if they come back and show that cancer is still there, and would radiation still be necessary?

Good, thoughtful questions. Not doubtful, but worthy of raising.

In the post-op recovery room, my mom cried tears of joy when we told her the good news. She hugged us all. Crunched on ice chips. Her pain level was minimum and she was in great spirits. Alert and active. Ready to “rock and roll” (she actually said that!).

Her nurse was pleased with her recovery. Readied the paperwork. And we signed out.

The weather outside was gorgeous – sunshine and summertime-y; almost like it was welcoming us to life after cancer.

And after a few days resting and relaxing, doing the dishes and going on a 2 mile walk, my mom was back to work! And that spirit – that “get up and go” mentality is the mindset of a survivor. She never let cancer get her down; didn’t allow it to be her cop-out or excuse. Sometimes we had to remind her that she was fighting a monster and needed to take a nap. Because she just kept on keeping on.

Friday of last week, my mom called me to tell me that the pathology report – final report – was clean. No cancer. And today, this morning, she met with her surgeon again. Once again, the news was positive. Pathology did not lie. Cancer has left the building.

Radiation is still necessary; protocol in this situation.

Just as fast as this whole cancer and chemo thing took over our lives, it is over. Just as fast as she was a woman with breast cancer, she is now a survivor.

Whirlwind hardly describes it. Emotions were up and down, left and right. There were days when it seemed it would never end. And now? It’s done. Just. Like. That.

Cancer. She had it. She fought it.

Cancer. Past tense.

That’s how it should be.




7 thoughts on “Cancer in the past tense.

  1. ok – once again you’ve brought me to tears Megan – thank you so much for sharing your wonderful thoughts with all of us who struggle to write a reply:)

  2. Hi Megan! I did not realize your mom was fighting cancer. I know it has been awhile so I think I was out of the loop! So good to hear that she is cancer free! I will pray that the cancer continues to remain in the past! Give your mom a hug for me – and one for yourself too! We should catch up some time soon!

    And on a side note, I agree with Sharon! You are a great writer Meg!

    • Thanks, Heidi. I appreciate your kind words! Yes, I will pass along a hug!
      Yeah, it’s definitely been a wild ride, but we are so thankful to be on this side of things and realize how blessed we are.

      Yes, we do need to catch up!

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