The BEST News (and a caveat…)

Yesterday I had a visit with my oncologist and, his exact words (as he shook my hand) were, “Congratulations on surviving cancer…”  The tumor in my spine is officially gone.  I am in remission, and that is amazing news!

From this point I have doctor visits ever 3 months, and a scan every 6 months.  We’ll keep an eye on the lymphoma to make sure it’s really gone (it has a way of sneaking back…) and keep our fingers crossed.

BUT

…I’m not well yet, and it may be 6 months to a year before I’m able to walk well, and function as the Annie Modesitt I want to be!

I’m so at odds with the thought that CANCER is gone, but I STILL feel so damned miserable.  Pain continues, I’m exhausted, I have no balance, I walk as much as I can, over and over, from my room to the bathroom and back, but the progress is SO SLOW that many times I feel in danger of losing hope.  My legs are numb from my toes to my hips (neuropathy) and that makes it hard to walk, too!

But, the tumor is gone! The cancer has LEFT THE BUILDING!  So champagne all around, everybody celebrate!

BUT

…don’t expect much from me in the next year or so. 

I’ll give what I can, but until I can get this damned chemo out of my body, I’m going to be a shadow of what I have been.  I hate that I can’t 100% celebrate the remission of my cancer AND the end of the pain and sickness that keep me in my bed all day and all night.  The tumor may be gone, but the fractures in my back and chemo remain.

My hair is coming back as a salt-and-pepper mix with what feels like a LOT of curl!

Seriously, except for my walks to the bathroom and forays downstairs, I’m generally in bed.  My sitting up time has increased to about an hour, then I just lose the ability to be upright and have to lay down for a few hours.  Exhaustion, it’s not fun.  None of this is.  But we’ve moved a comfy chair into my room and I sit in it as much as I can each day.  Sitting up is an exercise, it helps my balance and strength!

Thank heaven I have good friends and family to support me through this.  I feel like one of the luckiest people in the world, especially with my Andy to care for me.  And I’m growing some more hair, even if it’s hard to tell in the photograph!

Thank you all for your love! I feel it!

 

 

41 thoughts on “The BEST News (and a caveat…)

  1. Oh frajous joy! Turning virtual handsprings! This news, and that picture of your wonderful smile, have truly made my day!

    You’re well on your way to being the new and improved (though how one improves on perfection is a puzzle) Annie!

    Rest is hugely important in healing.
    Big hugs to all your family!

  2. Annie, great news!! I wonder if you might release another pattern so we can work on it together while thinking of you! I loved the wimpet!

  3. Wonderful news! The remission word is so lovely.

    Since you’re done with chemo your body will figure that out and you’ll begin healing – just as your hair realized it was safe to start growing back.

    Take care of yourself. We’re looking forward to you being back.

  4. So you are now going to have the hot hair color of the year! Many of us apparently have decided to give up the dye! My neighbor uses a blue shampoo to make her hair shine silver!! Hang in there. Do whatever exercises they give you, ask for more and you will reclaim your body. Baby steps…….

  5. Congratulations Annie! Don’t know if you remember me but I’m your friendly knitting neighbor that lives on the north end of Phalen. Today I was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. I’m been at St Johns for a week. Any tips or thoughts you can give me?

  6. Oh, Annie, what wonderful news! I’m so very happy for you.

    Please don’t feel that you should be at 100%. You went through one of the worst sorts of chemo – the sort that could have killed you. You survived! You conquered a cancer that was eating through your spine. Of course you’re week, and painful and having difficulty remaining upright and not wobbling; you have a half-gelled spine! You’ve been sick for a year and now you’ll be in recovery for a year. Nobody will expect as much out of you as you, so please lay off our Annie a bit, ok?

    Much love to you and Andy.

  7. Annie,

    This news makes me happy, so thank you so much for sharing it! Remember that you aren’t just waiting for toxins to leave your body, you’re doing the hard work of growing all the new, lovely, healthy, normal cells you need. You aren’t doing nothing.

    Probably doesn’t seem that way quite yet in Minnesota, but I can verify that spring is on its way. Camellias are in full bloom and trees are starting to bud. Hope your strength and stamina increase as the days get longer!

  8. Give yourself time. Your body has been through a great deal and will take time to heal. I survived lung cancer 7 years ago. You will always be a cancer survivor but don’t let that define you.

  9. I had a friend who came out of chemo and radiation for breast cancer about a year ago and the first re-growth was white and curly. It straightened out but I think it stayed white. IDK as she keeps it very short and dyes it radically wild colors.

  10. Rejoice! You walked through the misery and pain. Don’t push yourself and regain your strength. Most of all be proud, you have courage and perseverance.

  11. This is the best news I have heard in a long while! Hurray! Thank you for sharing it with us. And everybody else is right…healing takes a long time. Please be patient and treat your body with love!

    I wish you complete healing and many more happy years ahead with your friends and family!!

  12. SO HAPPY FOR THE GOOD NEWS!!!
    and I so wish I could wave a magic wand for your immediate healing of the rest of it, but will have to keep roaring encouragement instead ;p.
    Love to you and Andy and Max and the whole armada of friends and loved ones working to keep the Pirate Ship Annie M back on the turquoise seas.

  13. Oh my gosh Annie, what glorious news!! Now you can focus on healing, getting healthy, feeling better and being Annie again!!! Such amazing blessings

  14. Congrats … you are not a shadow the former you. You are the embers of the new you. Blow on those embers slowly every day and the fire will grow. And to have Andy with you … you are so lucky to have them and to able to have the time to learn your adult child. And how has everyone been so tactful and not made ANY raggedy Ann and Andy jokes …

  15. Really, really, REALLY good news!!!
    Try not to feel down about the slowness of the recovery. Your body just went through a serious battle for its life. You fought a war and you WON! But… much collateral damage was done. Reconstruction takes time. … you’ve got to rebuild. I know you know all this. It’s just frustrating and we understand.
    If you want to complain we’re all ears!
    But we’re still pulling for you, thinking of you, cheering you on. You beat cancer’s butt… now rebuild your health! Yay Annie! You can do it!

  16. Great news; congratulations. Now the baby steps begin afresh to the new you; healing takes time and rest and fortitude; be patient and kind with yourself.

  17. Mazel tov! The healing process from the aftermath is slow but positive. Prayers will continue your way. Patience is a virtue so they say.

  18. Oh, Annie, I am so happy to read this! What great news. I wish you the best as you gradually get your strength back. You have been through (and are still going through) so much. You have a new battle ahead of you.

    Much love.

  19. Congratulations Annie! I know you don’t feel like yourself yet, and that you are in a lot of pain and exhausted, but no more cancer must be a fantastic feeling! Get well, recover, take care of yourself!

  20. Congratulations on the tumor being gone!! Am sending you huuuuuge positive vibes to scare that lymphoma so far off that it will NEVER find it’s way back to you. ❤️

  21. Impatience might be a good thing. Perhaps it means you’re beginning to feel better? I sincerely hope that’s the case. Be kind to yourself as you travel the road out of cancerland, please!

  22. I want to take you back several entries – I used the word Remission as the word of Beginning. The start of the process – – the problem: weeks of intense chemo has beat you up pretty good. Every cell of every system has to have a chance to heal and regenerate. Take a breath my friend and try – try hard because it’s you – – not to get impatient with that healing process. Get something in your hands – – like, uh – – maybe some knitting. It could be as simple as some garter stitch something or other. Do some Linus blankets – – hats for a food bank. It doesn’t have to be fancy or extra hard – NO HURRY – – just something to get you out of your need to surge forward before you’re able. Easy, calming, non-threatening – – don’t even tell anyone that you have a goal in mind – – no commitment except to yourself. This is “Annie-time”. We’re all just wishing you on – – hoping you are feeling us behind you. Love & best ever wishes – – Good for you & Andy (the Greatest!!) & Max (working hard for a great future).

  23. Just found your blog today. I was thinking about you because I plan on trying some combination knitting here in a bit. I took a class from you a while back and weirdly had rowing out while doing combination . . . Anyway, shortly after I took the class from you I found out about your diagnosis. I am thrilled to find that you are in remission. I look forward to taking more classes from you in the future. You are such a fun teacher! Rest up and take your sweet time!

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