Perhaps you’ve heard the recent story about the crowning mishap at the Miss Universe contest. Short story short…Miss Colombia was named the winner of the pageant, however her victory was short-lived when the host declared that he made a mistake. The crown was abruptly removed and replaced on the head of Miss Philippines. Oops…You must be scratching your head – where on earth is Lisa going with this? Well, I’m feeling a little like Miss Colombia (yes, I just compared myself to a contestant in a beauty pageant!).
Around Thanksgiving, the doctors told me I was finally cancer-free. I rushed to tell all my family and friends; I couldn’t wait to blog about the exciting news. I celebrated with my family; I received gifts and cards from friends. I trusted that I would be finally able to rebuild my life post-treatment. I got to wear the sparkly crown.
But, like Miss Colombia, my celebration was short-lived. I learned not long thereafter that one of my tumors, according to doctors, either grew back at a pace that is virtually impossible or the countless radiation treatments failed to get it all in the first place. I’m not sure they really know, although they work hard to pretend they do. I’ve always had a blind faith in my medical team; I am privileged enough to be treated at one of the top hospitals in the country and by experts in their respective fields. But sometimes even the so-called best get stumped.
What now? Radiation is no longer an option; it turns out there is a lifetime cap on the amount of radiation one person can receive and I’ve reached it in the areas that have been radiated. Chemotherapy isn’t an option at this point. As my surgeon said, “The scalpel is always available.” So, I will be undergoing another surgery to remove what is left of my tumor. Will this get everything? I don’t know.
I thought the start of 2016 was going to be a clean slate with a clean bill of health. I was ready to get back to work and back to myself, but shit happens and it doesn’t always happen on my timeline. I won’t lie…it sucks. To have that sense of relief ripped away was just another punch in the gut. My health, as one friend once described it, is like a game of whack-a-mole. When will I get to wear the sparkly crown?
The good news is that I am feeling better these days and, while it may be temporary, I am savoring each moment.