Chris and I write these updates as one. One of us starts sharing and the other finishes. That way we don't have to carry the emotions alone as this entire journey has been too much for only one.
We left off right before the lumpectomy. Before the surgery there was a mammogram, I'm not sure we will ever forget the excitement in the nurse's voice. "It's gone, you can see where it was and now there is nothing."
It's great news that the surgery went well and there was no cancer found in the margins around where the tumor was. After a month of recovery daily doses of radiation started. The last day of radiation was December 29th. Finally no appointments and long term recovery can begin!
Today, February 23 was the first follow up visit with the oncologist. It was emotional yet uneventful which is exactly what I was hoping for. Yes, I made sure to ask if there was a way to figure out how long the tumor was growing. I almost asked as a joke because I already knew the answer, we tried to figure it out! I did enough research to find the growth rate, cell size, and already had my tumor measurement. A little math can take you a long way! The lesson learned is that cancer will come when it comes and there isn't much control as the host. I will never know why me.
This has been quite the journey. We could not have done it without such an incredible amount of help from so many different friends and family. There were so many dinners that just showed up here, balloons, cash, flowers and gift cards. Thank you does not feel like it will ever be enough, thank you.
Recovery from chemotherapy, just like treatment, takes a long time. In fact, we can expect it to take about twice as long as treatment or roughly a year. Each day is a little better than the last. We are learning most of recovery is heavily cognitive. It's tough to stay focused and there are only so many hours of multitasking and structured cognitive thinking that can happen in any one day and some days it's doesn't happen.
We feel so lucky that we get to be in a position where we get to think about the future for all of us. We could not be any happier that there are no cancer patients in this family so, so many families do not get to be in the position we are in.
As we start to slowly reconnect and come out of our COVID-19 and cancer bubble we can guarantee we will have the biggest smiles on our faces.