Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Coming Full Circle / Happily Ever After

Long time no post! This is just to let you know that I'm still alive and kicking and still cancer-free. (It will be 5 years since my surgery as of August 4, 2013.) Life has been GREAT since I moved back home to New Orleans in August 2011, and I felt so connected immediately it was as if I had never left even though I lived out of state for 23 years. I've been back home for almost 2 years now and I'm STILL on my cloud. LOVING IT!! There's no place like home.

Got established here in New Orleans with Dr. Mark Meyer, an orthopedic oncologist at Ochsner with whom I'm very impressed so far. He reviewed my films and records before my first visit and knew about my case at my first consultation with him recently. He spent a lot of time with me and agreed that it was OK not to have TWO CTs this year since as of August I'd be going to one annual CT now anyway. As a singer, I REALLY don't like that the massive cumulative dose of radiation to my lungs from the CTs puts me at greater risk for lung cancer when I don't even smoke.  So only ONE CT this year, which I had today, and an MRI (with contrast since I haven't had one in a while, and they'll have a recent one in their records at Ocshner.)

Both the MRI of my leg and the CT of my lungs today were completely clean as always, praise God! 

I really don't worry about it coming back at all, and as my surgeon advised me when I first was diagnosed, PLEASE, if you're reading blogs like this on the internet, don't assume that just because a blogger stops reporting that they have DIED. The fact is that I honestly don't think about it at all anymore, and I HAVEN'T for at least 2 years now. It's just not a part of my daily life since I'm fine now.

So if you've been diagnosed with soft tissue sarcoma like I was, (or any cancer,) you are in my prayers since I know the fear you're going through, and the endless obsessive hours a newly diagnosed patient spends scouring the internet for information good and bad to prepare you for what you'll experience. I hope that my blog, as brief as the section was about my actual treatment, and the followups I've tried to give when I have my checkups will give you comfort and peace of mind that many people like me CAN survive this and go on to live a COMPLETELY normal life.

My life is in very distinct chapters with really no overlap at all, with 2007-2010 being my "Reunions" chapter, and 2011-2012 "Coming Full Circle" with my move back home to New Orleans. (It's a quite literal chapter title too--I moved from New Orleans to Baltimore (10 years) to Milwaukee (8 years) to Atlanta (almost 5 years) to New Orleans....a big full circle.)  As of Valentine's Day this year I have felt strongly that I have transitioned into the final chapter of my future book, (although that doesn't mean my story is finished--it's just that I feel like I'm not wandering/journeying any more. I've finally found my destination at home.)  This chapter is going to be called "Happily Ever After."  It's still unfolding, but I have faith!!

God bless you and keep you safe through YOUR journey! He is always with you every step of the way.