So I’m done with chemo. I completed my 12-treatment sentence of marching through the valley of the shadow of death while keeping my head above water and carrying two little people on my back and mostly refraining from screaming to the masses how much this whole process has sucked (I’m pretty sure I hit the maximum number of allowed metaphors in that sentence). Now what?
Now we wait.
If you are married to me or related to me or have ever stood in a line with me, you are already aware of one very basic fact about me: I hate waiting. A lot. Many of you have expressed surprise or admiration about the fact that I continued to teach and attend grad school and shuttle small children around throughout this whole process, but really, I couldn’t have just stayed home and hung around until my next treatment. Because that would have entailed waiting. Which I hate.
I’ve already done a post-treatment PET scan and it showed that my body is about 99% clear. What about the other 1%, you ask? Well, there were a few small spots near my port (right side of neck and clavicle) that are still lighting up on the PET. It could be a little bit of cancer left over. It could be inflammation from the port. It could be something else entirely. We can’t know for sure without a tissue sample. That means biopsy, which means more surgery. But the spots are in a sort of tricky place to get to, which would mean fairly invasive surgery.
Bobby and I talked to my doctor and we all agree that the best first step is to take the port out. I’ve had a lot of trouble with it all along, and the general consensus is that my body wants it out. So out it will come. Unfortunately, due to the surgeon’s schedule, that’s not going to happen until the end of August. So guess what I get to do until then? I get to wait. Yay. Thankfully, I have picked up a little bit of patience along this journey. Not nearly enough for Bobby (the hero of all my stories), who has enough to spare for both of us, but enough to make it till the end of August. He will make sure that I maintain my sanity through the rest of this process. And of course I’ve got lesson plans and princess camp and four different school schedules to figure out and end of summer activities to keep me busy until the surgery.
And what happens after the surgery, you ask? What do we do once the port comes out?
We watch and wait, my friends. Watch and wait.