It is Friday morning. I am stating the obvious. The quote above stood out on Facebook today because there is no doubt that Laureen and I have both been to the edge of our selves. I don’t know that we’ve re-centered ourselves yet but there was certainly a huge development yesterday.
We had an appointment with Dr. Thomas Abrams at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute yesterday at 3:00 PM to have our first “post-operative” meeting with Laureen’s medical oncologist. We hadn’t seen Dr. Abrams since our one and only meeting with him back on February 26, 2013. Laureen had been referred to Dr. Abrams by Dr. Ron Walls, the husband of our school nurse here at Meadowbrook, Barb Walls.
So it was with a great deal of trepidation that we left our house at about 1:45 PM yesterday for the drive into Boston. Actually, the drive went well. It was pouring rain when we left Upton and due to some ongoing road construction on Rt. 9 by the Chestnut Hill mall area, we decided to take an alternate route to bypass the construction. We ended up taking catching Beacon Street at the very beginning which is in Newton by Newton-Wellesley hospital. We rather enjoyed the change of scenery and did exactly what we had hoped to do – by-passed all of the Rt. 9 road construction. We arrived at Dana-Farber right at 3 PM.
Fortunately our wait for Dr. Abrams was much shorter than the 2-1/2 hours we’d waited back in February and before we knew it we were sitting nervously in an examination room, waiting for him to come in and begin our meeting.
He arrived within ten minutes or so. Once again, we both immediately liked him. He’s young but with a definite sense of confidence and competence. We briefly went over the events of the past three plus months. He summarized things up very nicely and then told us that Laureen was essentially “surgically cured” of the cancer. My mind did a double-take (and still does) on the “cured” part and I did reiterate that particular word with him. So, for all intents and purposes, Laureen is now cancer-free and the word “remission” does not really apply since the cancer was surgically removed. There will be no chemo or radiation therapy. For a good many years going forward, Laureen will be monitored via an MRI scan every 6 months. The one caveat to this is that there is, loosely, about a 30% recurrence rate with her type of cancer. Laureen later said that seems “small” so I’m going to go with that because the flip side of that number is a 70% chance that it does not recur.
And so that’s it. We are both quietly “elated”. Neither one of us is very demonstrative – but we both acknowledge how huge this news is. Granted – Laureen still has a significant amount of healing to do. But the fact that she is cancer-free and doesn’t need ongoing chemo and/or radiation therapy is just huge.
A short while ago, fittingly I thought, I went over to give Steve the good news. He was the first one I told. He subsequently sent an email out to the board, and also to the faculty. And I’ve already been hearing back from some of the faculty. And I also just sent an email to Ron & Barb to tell them the good news and to thank them for the very important role they played in bringing this all to a “happy ending”.