Thursday, June 26, 2008

Our New Green Car

q Our New Green Car

1/31/99

It seems we have a new green car. You know, when you buy a green car the world seems suddenly to be filled with little green cars. They are at every stop light. They whizz by constantly. “My God!”, we say. “Where did they all come from…”

As it turns out Sarah has now finished the surgery, radiation, chemotherapy experience. The treatment of her uterine cancer is over. Recently she confided that the worst part of the experience was when the treatment ended. After over 100 trips to the cancer center; after getting “nuked” at the by the radiologists, “medicated” by the chemotherapists, and many injections to build up a depleted immune system, it was all over. We walked out and got in our car and drove home.

Now what? We wait and hope and pray there is no recurrence. Apparently, forever….

Before the cancer diagnosis, we hadn’t really worried about it. We had the occasional brief scare. A benign lump for Sarah, some unwelcome blood for me, but all the tests came out fine. We were healthy. We neither worried about cancer , lightening, or oncoming cars. We were ok.

I think about it now. At some controlled level, it is always there. I met one of Sarah’s several doctors in the waiting room of the cancer center. I told him that I felt we now had an unwelcome house guest. He replied, “He’ll never leave.” The unspoken message was, of course, “Get used to it.”

As soon as the diagnosis was announced, we began to see the green cars everywhere. It seemed that persons who had survived or were being treated for cancer surrounded us. Many were good and stories that helped and encouraged us. Very few were depressing or stories of despair. We already knew the sadder outcome stories. Sarah has been a Hospice professional for over 20 years. We already knew the bad stuff.

As the time has passed, Sarah and I have begun to hear the recurrence stories. They were always there. But, honestly, we must not have noticed the little flashes of green as they zipped buy us. Yesterday, while killing time (a phrase Sarah hates) I was in Dallas at the Galleria. I went to see the movie, “Stepmom”. Guess what? Recurrence. Picked-up the paper, the King of Jordan is back at the Mayo Clinic. Recurrence.

Along with the guy in our back bedroom, we need to adjust to our new heightened awareness of the recurrence thing. Considering all we have learned in the past 8 months, I think this will be easy. But really, if you hear about a recurrence, don’t feel a need to call us. We’ll be fine without it. We are buying a blue car.

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