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.