First Things First


I went to get my results from Dr. Second Opinion (he’s my new Dr. Crush for sure – sorry Dr J, but you up and finished your fellowship, I had to move on) and got a response I hadn’t let myself dream about: PET clean. MRI clean. Makes more sense NOT to radiate now.

Hallelujah and woopdeeedooop!

Sure mine is a kind of lymphoma that won’t necessarily light up on a PET scan... 20 -30% false negatives.... statistic bla bla bla... statistic bla bla bla... But I say fuck the false negatives. Rather, Dr. Second Op did (not in those exact words).

He said IF the lymphoma were to return in the same place (love the word "IF"), there was no reason they couldn’t radiate then and have excellent results.

And it wasn’t just him by himself making a judgment call. It was the whole fucking tumour board. Almost. 4 out of 5 of the tumour-boarders were down with the NO decision. The dissenting opinion was because my lymphoma, while recognizable as some form of non-Hodgkins marginal zone lymphoma, had behaved unconventionally by showing up in my face and in my pelvis. Therefore it might not be wise to assume it would follow an anticipated pattern. So, better to be safe…

But that was only one person. And definitely not the smartest one. (I have absolutely nothing upon which to base that judgment, of course. Just hoping it's some stodgy, stuck in the '70s, refuses to get with the advances of medical science, needs to retire, kind of doc.)

When Dr. Second Op. gave me the news, at first I did that fish thing where your mouth just opens and closes, opens and closes, opens and closes. Then I cried. Good news tears. Dr Second Op said the sweetest thing. He said he’d felt terrible the last time we got together, when he'd made me cry by reminding me that my bone marrow was involved. He said it leaves him pretty crushed every time he makes a patient cry. And yet he’s chosen radiation oncology as his life's work. Not always a happy happy place. Bless him.

I posted my news on FB. A million people liked it. Well, maybe it was only 166. But it felt like a million.

The DON'T NEED RADIATION news has left me reeling and sleepless with joy and what-the-fuck-now-ness.  Not even the Ativan and Flurazepam I took the other night could knock me out.

So excited. 

Life back. What life? 

Game on. What game? 

Ready set GO! Wait, where? While 9 months is only a fragment of my life, the length it takes to birth a baby, or in this case some good news, being Cancer-girl has kind-of become my thing.

And then I promptly got a nasty cold.

But first things first.

Saturday I drank 6 cups of hot whatever, took cold FX, vitamin C, cold and sinus tabs, Chloraseptic logenzes, and went out with my friend Kath, who’s just finished all her cancer treatment and received a first clear scan, to celebrate at World Pride Toronto - Dyke Day. Nothing like a massive party with rainbows, $8 beer, tits and balloons to mark my news. It felt like a million people were there. And this time, it may have truly been a million people.

I’ll sort the rest out. I'll settle into some mash-up of who I was before, who I’ll be now, and what I’ve just come through. It isn’t over. But it’s over-ish.

So, PISS OFF Lymphoma. Give me space for something new.

*Photo credit: Xtra - Worldpride Dyke march


Wow. Just wow!

We don't know one another, but as a fellow Aviva (Hebrew name, not Anglo name), I wanted to say how awesome your news is. Strength and support and continued good health trajectory wishes for you :)


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