It was a surreal feeling, walking into a cancer center with my 30 year old husband this week. This was it, the day that I had longed for and dreaded all at the same time. We were there for my Beloved’s six month checkup. The sign in the atrium said that this cancer center was nationally ranked – one of the best in the country. This was supposed to be comforting news, but it didn’t stop the shiver that I felt run through my body as I stepped into the elevator.
We walked past the Life Renewal room – a gift shop of sorts – filled with encouraging sayings, ribbons, t-shirts, snacks, and wigs. Then we passed a conference room where doctors and families may gather to discuss a diagnosis, treatments, prognosis, and counseling.
When we checked in, they handed my Beloved a paper with questions about his stress level. Was he in any pain? What were his concerns? Was he or his family in need of counseling? Here was a website. “Fighting cancer is hard, but finding help shouldn’t be.” It began to hit me. Unlike the rest of the world, cancer was not shied away from here in this warm, yet modern, care center. Cancer, here, was not a death sentence. It’s a way of life.
Hating to have anyone fuss over him, my Beloved is not a fan of these kinds of days. He had his blood drawn, and then we sat and waited for his CT scan. We even had a bit of time until we could see the doctor for the scan’s results, and so we wandered out of the clinic for breakfast at a nearby cafe.
When it was time, we returned to the cancer center to meet with the oncologist. He smiled as he entered the room, reassuring us that this morning’s scan was clear – everything looked fine! The cancer had not returned!
The very depths of my soul let out a most grateful sigh – a prayer – of relief. Thank you, thank you, thank you. In that instant my shoulders felt a little lighter, and the fear that had gripped my heart started to loosen its grasp.
The doctor finished his examination, and then we went over our questions. “Yes,” he said, “Joe can be deployed, but he will still need to be scanned every six months to make sure that the cancer has not returned. They can scan him in Afghanistan.” Even though I don’t want to think about the next deployment, not just yet, I’ll happily take the wonderful news!
My Beloved, ever my rock, seemed to take everything in his even stride. I, on the other hand, was feeling so relieved with our results that I’m may have floated out of the doctor’s office that morning. Ahhh… Six more months. Six months to try and forget that we will be coming to these appointments again in the spring. And six months later, and so on…
But infinitely higher than that, six months of rejoicing in our good news! Six months to celebrate life, love, and second chances. Six more months to treasure our family’s happily ever after…a gift for which my heart is overwhelmingly thankful!
* Photo courtesy of Joanne Funk
*Linking up to Women Living Well Wednesdays
In Her Shoes is a series written by readers to give us a glimpse into their lives - what it...