A few weeks go my dad and I sat outside in front of a bonfire (yes, I live in the woods) and polished off most of a large bottle of red wine. We normally have no problem communicating and talking about things, but I waited till he was a little buzzed before I asked the question that had been on my mind for a while. "Do you worry about your cancer and think about it all the time?" I asked. I wasn't really surprised by the answer, but it was interesting to hear it. He told me he constantly checks his tumor sight and wonders if it will come back and thinks a lot about whether the cancer is traveling around in his body undetected. I had no empathy, since I have never been through something as life altering as cancer, but I sure had sympathy. In fact, I have begun to live my days in the same manner. Does he have the sniffles? Why? Is the cancer multiplying as we sit here over dinner (or a bottle of wine)? It is exhausting, terrifying and back breaking.
Last Thursday, for the first time in six months (which is a long time in the world of cancer), my dad had another PET Scan. The scan itself is not painful or stressful. You basically get some radioactive sugar water pumped through your veins, lay in a tube for a looooong time and then get a nice little snack of crackers and juice to boost your sugar levels again. (Side story: when they pulled dad out of the tube for his half way point snack the nurse said "Oh its sunny outside!" She, of course, was referring to the current weather, but dad replied "What? Is it July already?" :) So, its a long, but painless process).
The painful part? WAITING!!!!! He was told his doctor would contact him on Monday with the results, but if you have ever dealt with a doctor you know that their time lines are a bit relaxed. Monday passed with no phone call or text from my dad. I figured that he would only contact me at work if it was good news so by the end of the night I was convinced the Melanoma had taken over his body and he had one week to live. I went to bed that night with a heavy heart and a lot of anxiety. To cut the story short....basically I heard the phone ringing when I was in my room getting ready for work on Tuesday morning. Nobody ever calls me on this phone so I NEVER answer it. I had a feeling, and went with it, and ran to listen to the message. It was was my dad's doc saying "your scan looks fine". Forget the fact that doctors shouldn't leave messages like this on answering machines, my father told him to call his cell phone and this said doctor is now not my dad's doc. Besides all that, it was amazing news. I called Pops instantly and fought back tears of joy.
I'm not sure what it is.....the praying, the positive thinking, his new cancer fighting/no sugar/no chemicals diet, the placement of Mars in the universe. Who knows. All I know is that we are doing something right. No signs of cancer and a whole lot of time ahead of us to keep kicking cancer's ass! Oh, and maybe he will continue to worry about what is floating around in his body, maybe we all will, but for the next few months we can safely say that all is good.