Friday was the 4th “3 month appointment” post chemo. All clear. The math adds up to 1 year since the chemotherapy ended. 1 year. Wow.
Now the appointments are spaced out 6 months apart. Sweet.
It really feels like much longer than a year. Staying busy at work and home helps. Always looking forward rather than in the rear view mirror helps more. During the surgery or therapy, the word cancer is in your mind every day. In fact, you wonder if it will be with you every day for the rest of your life. Fortunately, it does go away. I have gone weeks without thinking about cancer or the trials it put me and my family through. That is a great thing.
It’s been an interesting 12 months. Each appointment and the accompanying lab work and scans always bring a touch of apprehension. Symptom free before it was found, I know the cancer can return the same way. At least that’s the way I look at it.
I have physical reminders of the journey. CIPN, or chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy is my constant companion. The fingers are nearly back to normal, but the feet may never get there. I’ve talked about this before, but everytime I move my feet it feels like there is a mud mask that needs to be cracked off. That’s the best explanation I can come up with. It doesn’t stop me from walking daily or on the golf course. You get used to it, and it could be way worse.
I discovered the Colon Cancer Alliance and the Undy 5000 last November. Run a 5K in my underwear? Absolutely! Kev ran with me while Cindy took the pictures. It was a blast and we raised over $1000 from friends and family. It will be an annual event for us. The CCA is a great organization dedicated to helping patients and their families cope with colon cancer. They also promote screenings since colon cancer is easy to detect, and when caught early, is often treatable. A quick hop onto my soap box. If you are 50, get scoped. If you know someone 50 or older, ask them if they have been scoped. If you have a family history, check with your doctor. You may need to be scoped as early as 35 (sorry Kev!). The procedure is not nearly as bad as some say. Better yet, there are two outcomes. One, you are clear and good to go. The other is they catch it early and save your life. It’s a win win, so get scoped!
I also know Cindy and Kevin went through a lot as I underwent surgery and the “therapy”. I’d like to think this past year has been easier for them. Kevin was able to focus more on school and work. Cindy could worry less, but still asks how I feel or how are the feet doing? But really, other than the pre-appointment nerves, we’ve come a long way in a year.
What’s next? 4 more years to the finish line. We’ve got this.
Piece of cake.