Wednesday, April 25, 2012

THE BIG KISS OFF

I don't know even know where to begin.  I'm not one to be at a loss for words but the support I felt yesterday was simply breathtaking.

First, if you aren't a twitter person, I'm FREE!  I am officially on annual follow ups with the oncologist.  Technically, I'm being put in the "survivorship" program.  In other words, once a year and in still other words, I likely won't even see the oncologist.  It will be the nurse practitioner.  Naturally, if something isn't right, he's still my doctor, but for now, I got the big kiss off.

I will be on femara for another five years but I already expected that would be the case.  I got that heads up at one of the seminars I attended.  We discussed the new Choosing Wisely guidelines with the blood tests for the tumor markers.  I love my doc.  He explained, for now, MSKCC is continuing to do the tests but they are reviewing the guidelines and will make a formal decision some time in the near future.  It seems likely they will stop doing this test.

I guess that means I honestly have morphed into A Flying Wallenda.  No Net.  (Did your eyes read that as "not yet" because mine did, every single time I did a read through...just curious??)  Like I said the other day.  It starts on a runaway train and now I simply must take that first step on to the wire.  I just saw a piece about the Wallendas on television and I was struck by that very statement.  Something about the hard part being while they are on the ledge, anticipating the walk to the other side... and once they took that first step, they just had to focus and concentrate on moving forward.  Balance. Reaching the other side.

I have no net.  The safety of the tests and the scans is on the ledge behind me.  Now, I move forward.  If I must stop and recenter, it doesn't mean I'm going to fall.  It simply means I need to use that balance stick (or whatever the hell you call that thing) to get my footing back.  The net makes it too easy to just toss it in when the going gets a little tough.  The safety of the net is really stopping forward progress.  The safety of the net can possibly get me to believe hurling myself off a building might not be such a bad idea---after all, I got that net.  And now, No Net.

I am embracing NED.  I know that recurrence thing will still creep up in some dark moments and I know, too, when that happens, I will be held up by the same group of amazing people who sent me tweets while I was waiting for the doctor yesterday...... and the very same group who were sending me tweets to share my joy hours later as I found myself in a celebratory shoe shopping spree.  I consider myself most fortunate to have found my voice and in doing so, to have found myself surrounded by brilliant, caring and  loving friends.  I don't know how to say thank you for yesterday, except to say that I hope to be in a  position to do for each and every one of you as you did for me.

Now.... a few random thoughts.  Someone who reads this blog and has communicated with me via email needs some extra special thoughts sent his way today.  His wife is likely in surgery as this is on your screen.  Another good friend is getting results from her latest round of treatment.... Someone else has an oncology follow up within the next couple of days.  My new friend DID make her appointment and she will need to know she's not alone, either.

And, today.... mom is where I was on Monday.  She goes to see our oncologist for her follow up tomorrow.  There is something so unnatural for a mom and a daughter to "share" the same oncologist.  It's part of what drives me.  And it's part of what scares me, too. She was NED for twenty years.  And then, she wasn't.  Hers was a local recurrence. Fortunately, local.  We are survivors.  Together.  I'm officially at five years now.  She will be there in about four months.

To everyone who is staring into the abyss:  You are not alone.  You are NOT alone.

And, having nothing whatsoever to do with this.....blogger has a new interface.  I have yet to figure it out.  I THINK it's been around for a LONG time but I refused to use it.  Suddenly, I'm seeing a daily tweet about "My thoughts" with a link to this blog.  I'm not big on self promotion so if you found yourself here from the twitter link....... welcome.  Sooner or later, I will find the setting that will disconnect this auto tweet feature......

And SOONER or later, I will remember that the "schedule" calendar is formatted with Monday as the first day, meaning, what looks like it SHOULD be Wednesday on the little box is really Thursday... and this post should have been up already HOURS ago....... Sing it loud, sing it proud.... chemobrain.... attention to those details that in another life was my thing. Poof.  Gone.  It's the minutiae, not the ability.  And yet, even knowing that, I need a mini me minutiae checker.......

One more AND.... and it's a biggee.....  I want to thank Rann Patterson for featuring this blog (and by association, me) on Bella Online.  Rann is the editor of the Cancer section of the magazine.  She wrote a very powerful article and I am honored that she chose to share this blog with her readers.  The article was posted yesterday.  Seeing that was certainly a nice way to start what was, at the time, a scary day.  Ended with lots of new shoes, but at the start......fear.  Followed by celebration, followed by retail therapy gone completely amok.

Three stores, EIGHT pairs of shoes, five pairs already here, two being shipped because they didn't have my size, one has to be picked up on Thursday.  Pre-sale.  What the hell is that all about anyway?  Pre-sale pre-selling.....  If it weren't about a great pair of black pumps that I am getting for a great price, I'm pretty sure I'd be on a rant.  But, there will be no ranting about shoes.  I'm following the wise words of Marilyn Monroe and conquering the world.... "Give a girl the right shoes......." Well, I now have a decent selection of right shoes.  And left ones, too.



16 comments:

  1. I am so happy for you.....all of those new shoes....oh, and the NED thing too, of course:) Sending love vibes to you.
    Cancer Warrior
    www.perksofcancer.com

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    1. I SHOULD have gotten shoes with butterflies on them!!!! And anonymous at the bottom (that would be MY MOM) is big with the butterflies, too. Thanks, Florence!

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    1. Promotion..... That's good, Nancy..... I guess I got my answer to "When is The Five Year Mark?" For me, it was when I was five years post chemo...... xoxo

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  3. Awesome, AnneMarie. So happy to read about your good news.

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    1. Stacey, We have to plan a meeting in the city one day now that the weather is getting nice. I have a mess of people that can direct us to some rather lovely outdoor spots. Thanks!!!

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  4. Woohoo! NED and shoes to boot. Remind me not to go shopping with you or else I'll have to declare bankruptcy on the spot. ;) So glad you are an outspoken voice for so many of our sisters in spirit. Go Team Anne Marie!

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    1. Love the woohoo's... and the shoes..... and I started out fine. Three practical, necessary pairs of shoes. Then, I fell in love. Felt like Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City. Totally lost control. Thank you for cheering me on.....
      xoxo

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    1. Every time I think of you, I hear "This is THE.VOICE" ..... I never even watched that stuff but now..... I can ONLY watch those shows. Nothing with a plot line. And it's ALL good!! xoxox

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  6. WooHoo...love Marilyn's quote! so happy for you!

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    1. Thanks, Kathleen!!!!... apparently I'm determined to conquer my own little corner of the world. And now I have proper shoes with which to handle the task!

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  7. So happy for you. Is five years really coming up for me too.
    Your #1 Cheerleader.
    xoxoxox

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    1. Yes.....Five years..... And your turn tomorrow...... love you, mom. xoxox

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  8. AnneMarie - you and I are at a pretty similar place. Five years. Annual checks. It's a strange place to be, well strange but good, but I so relate to that sentence:
    "I have no net."
    That is why we have each other.
    Best, Sarah

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    1. And I can so appreciate THIS sentence:
      "That is why we have each other."
      Hugs to you, Sarah!

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