Tag Archive: oncology


I’ve had the Mario theme song stuck in my head for the last week. I seem to whistle the tune whenever I’m doing something tedious like dishes or folding laundry which leads me to beleive it’s a song that is perfect twofold: 1) It never gets old and 2) It makes you happy.

In other news, my oncologist checked the lump near my jaw. He said it is odd at which point Erick interjected, “…but so is she.” If it gets bigger, he said we’ll have to have it biopsied, but since my last scan was clear, he asked me not to worry.

In other other news… We’ll be issuing a certified check today for $7000+ to sell our house in Northern Michigan and the closing documents will be arriving shortly to be signed and notarized. We did alright all things considered. It’s still hard letting go of a home we loved, but we’re doing well and moving forward and that’s what matters most.

I cried when the doctor asked me if I was under any stress at the moment. It felt good to cry. Maybe that’s why Mario Bros. has attached it’s happy theme-song to my brain this week.¬† I need it.

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Yesterday I met with Dr. K, my oncologist. He’s my hero for not only was he mindful of my treatments and care, but he was always careful to remember things about me as a person first, patient second. His honesty could be brutal at times, but this I value still for it allowed me to forgo unnecessary worry.

After my blood-work, in which they found a vein successfully the first poke (and in my arm)! I talked with Dr. K about how I’ve been feeling and what lay ahead. I told him I’ve been well and he checked me for the usual lumps and bumps and listened to my heart and lungs and then smiled his broad smile and said everything looks as good as I feel. We talked about my plan of action once I move down to NC and then he shook my hand and said, “Goodbye and good luck to you.”

I thanked him, but it didn’t seem enough just to say thank-you when the person standing across from you has saved your life. And yet, I know he knows how grateful I am for all he has done. When he asked about my heart, I retorted, “Have you considered cardiology as a side career?”

Yesterday was about more than Dr. K. It was about walking away without scheduling another scan. It was the certainty with which Dr. K said “No” when the nurse inquired about a CT scan for January. It was like I had been set free and my life lay ahead of me in long beautiful years that stretched out infinitely. For a moment, I forgot about vulnerability and disease.

Yesterday I said things like, “I feel good.” “I’m well.” “No night sweats, no fatigue.” “I can run and it feels great.” And when Dr. K asked whether I “felt like I had returned to all normal day to day activities,” I happily answered YES! And then some.

I know I’ll never completely let go of this experience. There is a scar still visible to the naked eye and medication I now rely on to some degree and there are times when I must just let myself cry. Along this path, I’ve met and loved some remarkable people who unfortunately succumbed to this disease and even a part of me and who I was fell away as I continued on along my own path. So, in that sense, I still grieve. At the same time, I celebrate each small victory in my return to normalcy.

I will always remember the kindness others bestowed upon me, often by strangers united by the same cause; to beat this disease not with drugs, but with love, compassion, patience and attitude. No matter what happens moving forward, I/We have won over cancer.

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Photo by Dianna McPhail