Being in remission was bliss for me. I finally caught a break from hospital visits, numerous testings and sleepless nights. Remission in cancer to me meant I was given a chance to live and explore life again. The beast had been caged and could no longer hurt me.
Remission in Cancer means the absence of active cancer. This occurs after tests, scans and all examinations shows there is no sign of cancer. It could be complete or partial remission. After chemotherapy, radiation, double mastectomy, I took Herceptin for a year. On completion of the prescribed dosage, I remember the joy on the face of my oncologist when he shook my hands and said I was a trooper and I was on remission. The chances of reoccurrence are not predictable, but I was satisfied it was over because of my faith: Affliction will not rise a second time.
I had to take tamoxifen during my cancer remission once a day, and I could live with that as it had minimal side effects.
I was getting my mojo and life back. Everything was falling into place for me, I got back into the labor market and got my own house and it seemed like my American dream was aligned and in sight. That was when I met my prince charming…. boy! was everything working out for me or what?
Life was good and I had everything I wanted. Now that’s a very relative statement and I understand but it so happens that I am a very contented person.
I excitedly settled into my normal, happy, cancer-free dream life. I had a great immune system, I was completely healthy asides the fact that I just battled with cancer and won….supposedly.
Remission cut short
It started with a stomach ache and discomfort. Because my bae is an internist, we immediately applied over the counter medications to help alleviate my symptoms. My symptoms didn’t get better so I made an appointment to see my PCP( primary care physician).
My PCP went on to diagnose my symptoms as an ulcer. I was given medications and I went on my business. I didn’t get better but we kept managing my symptoms in line with ulcers do’s and don’ts.
Matter of factly, I went from manageable to worse. I had a distended stomach like I was eight months pregnant and was ready to have a baby. Because of the distention, I lost my appetite. I wake up feeling full like I had eaten a priori.
My fiance insisted we sought a second opinion because I was religiously taking my medication but without any visible improvement. All through this, cancer was not considered because I was in remission and I honestly thought I was totally free from this monstrous disease. We decided to visit a different hospital close to our residence to get a second opinion.
I remember that day vividly. We got to the hospital in good spirits. A CT scan was done immediately and we had to wait for the results. My fiance and I were chatting, giggling and reminiscing on our just completed vacation as it was Christmas season.
We were waiting to be discharged, and probably told its nothing serious. Then the doctor walked into my room, with a grave and solemn look on his face. His words still send chills to my spine. There were MULTIPLE tumors found in my stomach.
We both broke down and cried like babies. I was transferred via ambulance to my primary hospital and I think I died a million times that night….not technically…..somewhat….oh I think it was because I was given a high dose of morphine that knocked me out because I can hardly remember the thirty-five-minute ride on the ambulance.
My breast cancer had metastasized……….The beast is out of its cage!