And Believe…

Back in January, I wrote a post entitled Believe. It dealt with my fervent belief that 2012 would be my year. It would be my opportunity, after 2.5 years, to recapture some semblance of normalcy in my life. Over the past several months, while never losing sight of that belief, I continued to bump into walls in the dark, never sure what direction I was going to end up going or when I would get there. In my last post, as today’s appointment loomed closer, I couldn’t help feeling like I was awaiting my parole hearing.

I received a call earlier this week from the Cancer Center wanting to move back my appointment time. She said she knew I preferred afternoons. How does that work? How does she know that when she schedules 1000s of appointments every month? I definitely know I’ve been hanging around there too long.

So…this afternoon it was. Showed up between 3 and 3:30 for labs. Got called back for my nurse consultation and weigh-in.  I made sure to show up in heavy jewelry, a belt and left my shoes on. Still I didn’t gain anything but did manage to camouflage all but 1/2 pound of what I had lost. Then, the long wait to get called back to see the doctor.

Shortly after 5 I was called back and very shortly thereafter, Dr. D. knocked on the door. First words out of his mouth – You lost another pound. I corrected him that it was actually less than a pound and that it really was leveling off. He grabbed me by the shoulders and said “You can’t afford to lose any more weight.” I said, OK, I won’t, smiled and the drama was diffused.

We went over the  results of my labs and, for the most part they were good. He examined me and we talked about a couple of other things. He had talked about starting me on a new drug, but decided to wait. Good news.

Then he shook my hand and said, Mrs. Stueve, I’ll see you in 4 months. Seriously? I actually screamed (softly). He smiled and said, “I find nothing wrong with you. But if you have any concerns at all before 4 months, call.”

Parole granted.

When I got home, Ken was waiting at the door to find out how it went. I told him and screamed again. After 2.5 years I am no longer a cancer patient. I am officially a survivor. Ken left the room and came back with a gift bag. If you recall, Kelli came up with the idea of buying a charm every time I had a chemo treatment. Between the kids and my husband, I ended up with a beautiful, full charm bracelet that I wear as a reminder of the support of my family while I was doing treatment.

I opened the bag and it was another bracelet. It matches my chemo bracelet but includes just one charm. It is a little difficult to see in this photo, but the charm opens to reveal the word Believe. I cried. We both cried. It has been so long and so difficult at times, but neither of us ever stopped believing. I am so happy tonight I can’t stand it.

Sunday is the Komen Siouxland Race For the Cure. This is the 4th for Sioux City and the third for me. While not as much pomp and circumstance as last year, it will be a true celebration for me and my small band of “merry men.” I will walk proudly feeling like a true survivor.  If you’d like to donate, there’s still time do so today by clicking here and then on Donate to Cathy. Your gift will mean so much to so many. Thank you.

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you’ve imagined..”                                                                                                     

Henry David Thoreau

Time to start on my book.


6 Responses

  1. Congratulations fellow survivor!!!!! The bracelet made me cry too! I am leaving tomorrow for Spokane to meet my new grandson, Finn Henry born 4/13 so I will not be at the race. My Health Department team, Glitter It Pink, will be there strong. We need to get together for that glass of wine!

    • Absolutely!! will miss seeing you there but so glad you get to visit your new grandson. Have a great time.

  2. You’ve left me speechless ( now, stop laughing – it does happen from time to time ). I can’t begin to tell you how happy I am for you guys. You’ve got a sweetheart husband to think of all these little things that make such a big difference. Make sure you give him a chapter in that book. There’s no doubt that the support of your family has made all the difference for you. Tonight my prayers will be prayers of joy for you all – and a fervent prayer that all others moving through that same dark tunnel you traveled will find the support system they need to hang on. Have fun Sunday. I’ll be there in spirit !

  3. Going forward, not backward. God bless Ms. Cathy Stueve and the Mister as well… are so stong, blessed and a valued friend. Love you.

  4. Good news indeed! Go eat a big steak dinner and top it off with pie and ice cream!

    • Thanks! Good advice. He doesn’t know how much I really lost. 🙂

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