Some days seem to count more than others when it comes to cancer. May 14th? The day I found out I had breast cancer. July 14th? The day I had my mastectomy. April 26th? My reconstruction surgery.
Before my eyes even bothered to blink open this morning, I knew what day it was. August 19th. The day I found out the cancer was gone.
One year ago, on this exact date, Saul and I were heading to The James to meet with a new doctor. This one was joining our team as my medical oncologist, the person who would determine the best future treatment plan. In other words, this doctor was the one who would tell me if I needed chemotherapy.
It could have been a day of grieving. Or of muscling up for another battle. Instead, it was a day of rejoicing. As Saul and I sat side-by-side holding hands, the doctor said these words, “The cancer is gone.”
She went on to explain that using chemo or radiation as an insurance policy would do more harm to my body than good. Instead, she wanted me to try a drug called Tamoxifen. If I could tolerate it for the next ten years or so, the likelihood that I wouldn’t have another bout of breast cancer was in the 90th percentile. Somewhere between 93-97% that the breast cancer wouldn’t be back. Those are pretty good odds.
Saul and I looked at each other before he ventured to ask, “It’s GONE gone? Like my wife is cancer-free?” Yep.
August 19, 2015 was a really good day.
August 19, 2000 was a really good day, too.
That’s the day Saul and I got married. I’m grateful to have ALL days since dealing with cancer, but some days definitely seem to count more than others.
Maybe that’s not true. Maybe it’s not that some days count more than others… maybe it’s just that some days are so much more fun to remember than others.