I walked into my 9 month post-chemo appointment armed with questions. Questions that I had been afraid to ask earlier in case the answer wasn't what I wanted to hear. More than anything, I wanted to know if we could consider breaking our frozen science babies out of their test tubes next fall, expediting the original recommended timeline from 2 years NED (no evidence of disease) to 1.5 years NED. I didn't think it would be too much to ask.
Instead, the CT Scan showed enlarged lymph nodes behind my abdomen and in my left axillary (underarm/breast area). Instead of smiling into the future, I faced scans, biopsies, and waiting. Over the next three weeks I had a mammogram, PET scan, and two biopsies.
It took 23 days between my CT scan read and my final results. During those 23 days I barely slept, I faked my way through the days, and I mentally prepared myself for cancer's return.
The cancer is back, only in those lymph nodes behind my abdomen. It's unclear whether the cancer has returned or if a cell or two just never went away and instead traveled through my lymphatic system to a cozy new nest. I will get into the details of just how sneaky my cancer is at another time.
In the meantime, damnit. This is sad. This is really, really sad and I am pissed.
I can't go back to yesterday because I was a different person then.
Before this new diagnosis, I'd spent the last 9 months in a state of in between. Post-chemo starting in April, it took some time for my brain to realize how much my heart had been hurt by the process. I finally began to feel like myself in October, about 7 months after treatment ended. I was ready to return to a healthy state. I was spending quality time thinking about how I wish my young adult treatment and support had been different and how I could be a part of a new transition. In some ways, all of that has been turned on its head.
In other ways it hasn't. I'll talk more about why I moved the blog here, my improved goals for it, and my intentions for this time around. My Tumblr last round was written to keep family and friends informed. This blog is for you, but also for me and for others experiencing similar adventures. I'm still collecting high fives, though.
If you're feeling brave, come on down the rabbit hole.