Wednesday, June 02, 2010

One Year

Mary died this weekend.
I did not know her well.
She was a co-worker I casually chatted with in the PT cave.
She was diagnosed a few years ago. She had surgery, therapy.
She seemed to do well for a awhile.
But, then the cancer came back.

It has been a year since the end of my cancer treatment.
They start the "I am x number of years post cancer" clock with your last chemotherapy.

The rule of thumb is that the five year survival rate of all stages of ovarian cancer is 45.5%.
Since my cancer was confined to the primary site, my survival rate is 92.7%.

The tumor apparently burst during the surgery. I worry that some of those cancer cells are circulating around my body.
Trying to find another area to feed off of. My liver. My stomach, My bladder. My colon.
Skewing my survivor rate percentage lower.

But, so far, I have had normal CA-125 levels. My MRI was free of tumors. Just the mesh and titanium tacks from my hernia repair remain.

My oncologist is pretty much done with me.
"Come back in 6 months", Dr. Lin says.

It's just that at times I let the fear bubble up to the surface of my mind.
I try not to but, I worry that I am in the 7.3% that do have a return of the cancer.

I worry I will have no one to take care of me.
I worry I will die alone in a nursing home.
No one holding my hand when I pass on to the next life.

Mary died this weekend.

Wade died january before last.

Karen died in March of 2009.

Lynette died days before last Christmas.

Reta died just this last March.

I suppose they can reach for me from the other side when it is my time.

"and to see you're only very small and life flows on within you and without you."


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