In November, I was diagnosed with cancer. I had surgery to remove the majority of the tumor. This was followed by five weeks of radiation and I just finished my third cycle of chemotherapy. This is the halfway mark for the chemo and I should finish on June 19th. After that, I do not know what is ahead. I will have scans and tests and we will make the decision for the next step in this battle.
In my real life, B.C. (before cancer), I was a math teacher/basketball coach. I am now trying to fight cancer and still fullfill these responsbilities. As a basketball coach, we have our own special language. My wife, Chris, is used to going on "scouting dates," discussing things like hedge, double, slam, open, baseline leg, flex, motion,.....................Yes, we seem to have our own language. I have learned that there is also a language spoken at the cancer center. I have had to learn it. Port, accessing the port, platelet counts, white blood cell count, red blood cell count, chemotherapy, radiation, myeloma, solitary plasmacytoma, stem cell transplant, bone marrow biopsy, etc... but the word we, as cancer patients, are all striving for is remission. Remission is defined as the reduction of a sentence or a temporary recovery.
This is what we cancer patients & survivors are all waiting to reach. We sit in our infusion contraptions receiving our chemo, and someone walks through the door. Although they are not quite treated like a "rockstar," they seem to have a celebrity status; they are family. As the person is introduced, (and they are always introduced) you are told, "This is _______, he/she has been in remission for the last ___ years/months." It's like a goal to reach, the prize at the end of the journey.
Why radiation? Why chemotherapy? We want to put the monster back in the box! It takes two years of clear tests and scans to be awarded the title of "in remission." Of all the titles I have obtained in my life, this is the title I covet. I want the monster.......................BACK IN THE BOX!!!!