Saturday, December 23, 2006

An Unwanted Journey: Day 0395 - One-Word Prognosis

My surgical oncologist's receptionist called to tell me that a form that required some comments from the surgeon was ready for me to pick up. I did so and then read the comments later in the day. For a week in which there was hardly enough time to relax, reading those few words from the surgeon lifted a load from my shoulders, especially the one-word prognosis - "Good".

My cancer diagnosis was advanced stage III, T3N1M0. The latter is a code used to designate the stage (1-4), whether nodes are affected or not (either 0 for no, 1 for yes), and whether or not any distant organs are involved in metastasis of the cancer (0 for no, 1 for yes). One year later, after a surveillance colonoscopy, another biopsy, an ambiguous CT scan, and a pathologist's report, it was truly reassuring to read that single word on the form - "Good".

Today is the first of ten days I have off work and the first day of our family time together to celebrate Christmas, the winter solstice, and the coming new year. It will be a time of relaxation, reading, spending time together over special meals, perhaps traveling to visit family, watching movies and sports events on television, and reflecting on the year past. Unlike this time last year, in which nothing seemed certain other than a very aggressive treatment plan to rid my body of cancer, this year is marked by hope and, again, that one word - "Good".

And so it seems an appropriate time for me to revisit the theme of my personal blog. My unwanted journey is not over. No oncologist will tell me that I am cured, nor even that I shouldn't be concerned about recurrence. But I am definitely entering a period of recovery. I have no idea what the future holds in store for me, especially in regards to battling cancer. Still, there is reason for hope and for turning to other topics in my online writing. I hope you agree with me, doing so is very, very "Good".

1 comment:

shel said...

In a word,for those of us who have come to know about you and care, this news is "good." Have a happiest of happy days today and may you be filled with health and strength in the coming year.