Hans Peter Dettmar, the Hans-meister, November 2010, Baltimore Harbor
Well, I met with my GYN/oncologist yesterday and here's the plan - observation. I'll see him every three months, for the next two years I'll have a CT scan every 6 months, and then for the following five years I'll have a CT scan every year. After that, I'll be considered non-risk. Since the tumor was small (under an inch in diameter), and was totally removed, the prognosis is good. Thank you, see you in three months.
Is that all? After this crazy, over-the-top emotional year I was expecting more confusion and drama. Not to be. We have a plan in place, stop the drama. Sloan Kettering is a non-factor, really. The fact is that the expert at Johns Hopkins had never seen a PEComa nor has anyone at Sloan Kettering. They don't have any new information at this time. So I'm on a new path with this doctor, and since his office is a 6 minute drive from my house, even better.
I came home from the appointment and sat in a chair, the same one in which I called my parents to tell them the news in July. It was 3pm, it was quiet, and I suddenly didn't know how to feel. My husband told me to fix myself a stiff drink, but I didn't, I just sat. So much of my angst from the last year has been lifted, unfortunately angst has been a defining factor in my life for a year. I find myself crying for no reason, I think the release of the emotions I've been quietly carrying are going to come out, and they should. NO ONE should ever have to experience the confusion and mixed messages I've been given since April, just an awful roller coaster ride. Being in survival mode is not fun, trying to make through a day, an hour, a minute, a breath.
So many people have been supportive, some wonderful words shared, my cousin telling me she lit candles at every church while in Europe this summer for me, people putting me on prayer lists, my sister offering to come stay with me if I needed treatment, my parents with their medical constancy, my brother calling my parents every night to see how he could help, friends making me laugh to keep perspective, my pets, but most of all, my husband. It sounds a cliche, but he is truly my best friend and is ALWAYS there for me, always. He never once panicked (at least on the outside!) and helped make my life continue on with a sense of normalcy, even during those dark days of July. Thank God for the Tour de France this year, my yearly July obsession, that gave me plenty more to focus on than all the information overload I was getting, and Hans and I watched the Tour every day for three weeks. Hans Dettmar, you are a great man, a great husband, you make me laugh, and most importantly, you love me. There is no greater blessing in life than to be loved and to love fully in return.