Good question. Clearly, I haven’t been blogging, even though I had some terrific news to announce. The kind of news that, if it can happen to me, then it can happen to anyone who hears the somber diagnosis of “stage 4″.
Last month, my oncologist told me that I need to come in for blood work every 4 months, instead of 2, as it has been…and the PET/CT follow-up is now scheduled for once a year, instead of every 3 to 6 months (depending on what freaking thing showed up on the last test). That point is, no freaking things have showed up for long enough that …
Here’s how my word processing dictionary defines “remission”:
1) A lessening of symptoms of a disease, or their temporary reduction or disappearance;
2) A lessening or reduction in the severity of something;
3) A release from a debt, penalty or obligation;
4) Pardon or forgiveness;
5) An instance or the action of remitting something.
Out of the box, 2 through 5 are out. Don’t apply at all. And 1 doesn’t fit, either. This isn’t a “lessening” of symptoms, nor is it a “temporary reduction” of anything. I totally reject the idea that the disappearance of stage 4 cancer is inevitably temporary. What, because statistics say so?
I’ve covered statistics in this forum before. It’s worth reading that entry, if you can scroll down a bit. If not, at least know they are riddled with flaws.
So listen up! Stage 4 is not an automatic death sentence. In many cases – far more than we, as patients, realize – it may not be a death sentence, at all.
However the healthcare industry defines it, I know one thing for sure: it’s gone. Right here, right now, I don’t have cancer. And I have never felt better in my life, mentally or physically.
The chickens have something to do with my current beatific state. They’re cute and industrious and never stop eating, and they each give me an egg, every day. I used to complain because I had a period once a month; these girls have one every day. No wonder chickens are jittery!
I’ve got a farm going up here, in the mountains about a mile from Sunset Boulevard. The chickens, the dogs and the cats remind me constantly that something other than me requires my attention.
Let me put it this way: if you’re stage 4 and thinking of raising chickens, you may very well have the time.