On June 7, 2012, I had my first follow up scans post treatment. Those scans showed that the cancer was back and was growing in three different places in my pelvis. Dr. Mutch, my home oncologist, diligently laid out a plan of action but was very optimistic. On June 13, I visited Dr. Shenk out of Northwestern for a second opinion. He told me that the cancer was very aggressive and that, without treatment, I would have about 10 months to live… that I would not probably live to see my 33rd birthday.
I did chemo in an effort to control the tumor growth until we figured out another plan. During that time, Dr. Mutch worked with me to set up an appointment for my huge radical surgery with Dr. Gostout at the Mayo Clinic. On our first consultation (which took place on the phone), Dr. Gostout told me that without the surgery, the disease would kill me… with the surgery, it might not.
I had the surgery in October- the one where I was completely gutted and sewn back together. In January, scans showed the cancer was back. So, in February I had another surgery with more radiation and was declared cancer free once again. In May, a PET scan confirmed that my body was, in fact, cancer free.
All I heard was that I was free.
I would like to point out that my 33rd birthday is in less than a week and that I’m still here. 10 months has come and gone, and I’m still here.
Birthdays have always been important to me, but this one is particularly special. I’ve never been so proud to tell people how old I’m going to be. I feel like a child… the one who holds up the right amount of fingers, glowing… telling the lady at the bank, her parents’ friends, and anyone else who will listen that I am having a birthday and that it is a wonderful, magical thing.