Sunday, August 24, 2014

Being NED

I am late to the party and I am sorry for that. I know silence after a scan can be interpreted as something bad and I don’t ever want any of you to worry. Most of you will already know by now my news but for those of you still waiting…

I am 100% NED!!!! No evidence of disease again. Talk about bitch slapping those malignant cells all the way into next week!

It is always a shock when you get good news and almost a sort of anti-climax. I had convinced myself the night before and the morning of my appointment  that it would be bad. My husband and I had discussed our game plan the evening before the appointment to prepare ourselves for whatever might be. You never go into battle unprepared as we had previously learned. His worst fear was that something would have light up needing further investigation and mine was that I would be told I was dying. Who is the catastrophist here I wonder?  I kissed my daughter goodbye that morning and wondered again whether this would be the last normal moment between us before my world came crashing down again. So many emotions, so many thoughts brought up to the surface.
But the battle plan was not needed and it appears that our enemy has been killed off. For the first in a while I am starting to wonder if maybe this cancer isn’t ever going to return? I know I can’t totally stop worrying about my silent enemy but I do know that 2 clear scans in one year is one hell of a reason to celebrate. My doctor was really pleased but always the cautious one. When I asked him what it meant to have two clear scans in a row in terms of my future he said that the results were “nice.” What a pokerface this guy has and he even told me that he won a pokerface competition! I started thinking later that evening about how this latest news will influence my long term relationship with cancer. It seems like we are growing further and further apart from one another despite what a huge and all-consuming role it has played in my life for over three years now. Will my life really get past a point where cancer is no longer a part of it? It was so hard to imagine a life like that a year ago…where cancer has no purpose or power over me. It is also scary at times as I worry about having to fend for myself and not use my cancer crutch anymore. Will people suddenly expect more from me and excuse my shortcomings less? I said to my doctor that day that one of the things I still struggle with is that because I look good everyone assumes I am 100% strong and healthy. I most definitely don’t feel that way but after having a year of cancer free living, maybe expec tations will return and I will have to be “normal” again? Maybe this is hard to understand because it isn’t about having cancer again but it is about the long road to recovery that becomes harder and harder for others to understand the further out from the disease you become.  I am scared of failing, scared of disappointing people and scared of not hacking it. Cancer took some of the pressure off temporarily but it is all seems to be returning again and I don’t have the same coping mechanisms.

But enough with the mindfuck side of this whole thing, this is a time to dance on the rooftops and drink bubbles until you can fly. I hope you all join me in this celebration from around the world. I will save another entry to get into some of the other issues that came out of Tuesday’s appointment that are heavier in topic because this entry is solely devoted to saying “I am cancer free.”

From your dear friend,
In Remission


  1. Go grab your husband and daughter and do the happy dance of life for now! Things do get better with time.

  2. dear Kate,

    "...drink bubbles until your can fly..." - LOVE that, and LOVE the wonderful, fabulous news you are NED!!! and you are so right - people do not understand what the aftermath of treatment is like. but we do, this community does - so please keep writing so we can hold you in the light of love, understanding and big hope when you need it. meanwhile,
    CELEBRATE - big time!

    much love,

    Karen xoxo

  3. Kjære deg, jeg synes du skriver så sterkt om noe som alle opplever ved kreft. Kunne du tenke deg å legge ut innlegget på Kreftkamp? Da må det oversettes først...Har du/dere anledning og kapasitet til det? Du bestemmer selv deadline. Om tre-fem uker f.eks. Mvh Eyrun / Kreftkamp

  4. Dearest Kate,
    Your clear scan is wonderful news! Alleluia! I give thanks to God for this grace, and to all those who have been and continue to pray for your health. Sometimes prayers get answered the way we wish... This is certainly reason to to be in the moment. Some friends and I toasted you this weekend with bubbly. Relief and gratitude are the emotions of the day!

    I know how hard it was to wait for the results. Those mixed feelings you felt before and even feel now , are unavoidable. They are heightened for you with the difficult experience you have had with cancer. I like your comment that "you and cancer seem to be getting farther away from each other" - a nice image under circumstances.

    I know your recovery is slow after all the invasive treatments you've had to endure and that many frustrations and limitations remain. Also that appearances can be deceiving but Hey! It's better to look well than sick. However, a 12 months clear scan brings hope and that is a good ammunition on this journey.

    I share your joy today. I also know you will find your way through other uncertainties and challenges. You have become a seasoned survivor with wisdom, and courage beyond your years.

    Blessings and abundant love my dear daughter,
    Your loving mom

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  6. I tried three times to post a comment yesterday but kept having technical difficulties. Being NED is wonderful and puts life back on a smooth road instead of an unpaved roller coaster. Grab your husband and your daughter and do the little NED happy dance. Wishing you years of NED

  7. Hi Longtime follower from DC. I was waiting to hear an update. The news could not be better! So happy for you.

  8. So happy for you!! I hope those around you will understand how much your body has been through and that in the same way one can't bounce back fully from pregnancy and childbirth, fighting from cancer and it's treatment is much much worse.