Yesterday morning, I woke up early and drove to the hospital for my three-month follow-up CT scan. Generally I have a fair share of “scanxiety,” yet that morning was different. Maybe my nerves were suppressed due to the overwhelming congestion in my chest, head, and sinuses, or possibly from the after-effect of two amazing vacations. Regardless, I felt confident, ready, and at peace with whatever the results would show. There still was an undercurrent of suspense as I journeyed my way to the life-changing scan, yet I suppose there always will be with every test I receive. That’s what you get with a diagnosis like mine.
After choking down every last drip of the repugnant “fruit cocktail” that would light up my insides, I waited. And waited. And waited some more… Story of my life.
My name was called and I was then directed to the room where the monstrous machine sat eagerly anticipating my body in its grasp. Before I laid down and surrendered to the process, I uncharacteristically asked the radiation tech to take a picture of me flexing my not-so-strong biceps beside it. Odd, yes. But, for whatever reason, I felt the urge to display my strength to the beast that has been trying to kill me. The tech laughed, the camera clicked, and I positioned myself on the scanning table, ready to be sucked into the machine. All the while, praying fervently that nothing would light up.
The nurses, radiation techs, and I chat frequently throughout the process of these scans. We become friends. I give them the run-down of my diagnosis, the long list of treatment, and the hope for healing that I cling to. Many share well wishes and good vibes, while several others say they will be praying with me for complete healing. After the CT machine was done spinning around my body, I was free to go. And as I said my goodbye’s and thank you’s, I caught a glimpse of my tech behind the computer that displayed the vast pictures of my internal organs. I could’ve sworn she was smiling.
No matter how hard I try not to read the faces of the techs as they instantaneously see the resulting photographs from my scan, I still succumb to curiosity. This time was no different. But did I really see a smile form on her face as she examined the results? Maybe I was fooling myself.
Typically, I wait about a week to receive the phone call from my doctor with results from my scans. However, barely seven hours after I had left the hospital, the number of my doctor’s office appeared on my phone screen. SHUT UP. Why are they calling me so soon? I bet all of my insides lit up, the cancer has spread, and they want to notify me that we must proceed with emergency treatment. Dammit. As I nervously answered the call, my ears began to hear unbelievable news.
“Stephanie, we just received the results from your CT, and I couldn’t wait to call you. The results show that there is no evidence of disease in your body. All of your internal organs look normal and healthy. Your liver is normal. Your kidneys are normal. Your ovary is normal. Your lymph nodes are not swollen and are normal. You are currently cancer-free!”
Even as I relive what happened less than 24 hours ago, I find myself speechless. I am in awe of God’s healing power. I am in awe of His faithfulness. I am in awe of His sovereignty. I am, yet again, cancer-free. And yet again, I am a survivor.
This is the longest I have gone without cancer in my body since diagnosis 18 months ago. I received a clear scan in August of last year, but within days, the beast was growing inside once more, and by November I was starting treatment all over again. In March, I was almost done with my second season of treatment and received my first clear scan. Yet, still actively undergoing chemotherapy treatments, I figured, of course the scan would be clear. After all, the poison was still coursing through my veins. But, my scan yesterday was different. This cancer-free proclamation is more meaningful, because it’s the first scan post-treatment that I have received good news. The way my doctors and I view it is, I have been cancer-free for the past seven months. It breaks down to look something like this:
- November 2012 (post mass-removal surgery): Cancer-free CT and PET scan
- March 2013 (before completion of chemotherapy): Cancer-free CT scan
- June 2013 (post all treatment): Cancer-free CT scan
That’s seven whole months that cancer has not invaded my body, and I am overjoyed! I remain cautiously optimistic, but nevertheless we are celebrating this victory. With every ounce of good news, there are heaping amounts of hope. I have yet to see what my future holds, but I am standing firm and believing that through The Lord’s healing power, I am ultimately healed. I celebrate this victory, and I am humbled by the hands of my Savior. He is GOOD! Continue to pray with me that cancer will no longer take residence in my body, and that the glory of God will reign.
Psalm 107: 19-22 (MSG Version)
“Then you called out to God in your desperate condition; He got you out in the nick of time. He spoke the word that healed you, that pulled you back from the brink of death. So thank God for His marvelous love, for His miracle mercy to the children he loves; Offer thanksgiving sacrifices, tell the world what He’s done—sing it out!”
KC DierenfieldJune 12, 2013 at 11:57 AM (10 years ago)
Oh my Stephanie, as I was reading your blog, I was on pins and needles if you were cancer free or not! I am not one to look at the ending of a book first and then read the beginning! I read it quickly as I couldn’t wait to get to the end!!!! You had me in suspense the WHOLE TIME!!! Praise the Lord my dear lady!!!!!! Praise the Lord!!!! Congratulations and Praise the Lord!!!! OH HAPPY DAY!!!! PRAISE THE LORD!!!!Reply
Lilly RoadsJune 12, 2013 at 12:42 PM (10 years ago)
So happy for your good news long may your body continue to be strong and well and free from this diseaseReply
Mary Jo JohnsonJune 12, 2013 at 1:04 PM (10 years ago)
Praise GOD! Stephanie, I am so happy for you, so filed with joy in the Glory of our Lord! God is Mighty and A:: Powerful!Reply
GingerJune 12, 2013 at 1:15 PM (10 years ago)
Saw your blog this morning in my email and opened it immediately! WOW – We have an all-powerful God. We are so thankful for this wonderful news!!!!! (your biceps look great to me too)Reply
Dave and I are way out here in Klamath Falls, OR – getting away just to get away – but I am so glad I logged onto the internet this morning to get this terrific report. To God be the Glory!!
I hope that your two vacations were amazing and blessed in every aspect.
We continue to send our prayers and love to you and Matt xoxoxox
Ginger and Dave
Teresa LoudisJune 12, 2013 at 1:55 PM (10 years ago)
Your faithfulness is rewarded !! I am so excited to hear this news !! We never know what the future holds or what Gods plan is for us…but you can bet ALL things work for the good to those who love him !! Congratulations !! You and Matt are so deserving and I will pray that God continues his blessings to you and your family. You have truly inspired me as I have followed your journey. Keep writing !!Reply
Heidi CarlsonJune 12, 2013 at 2:07 PM (10 years ago)
Praising God with you from Poland!!!
NotDownOrOutJune 12, 2013 at 3:49 PM (10 years ago)
Congratulations on this excellent news!Reply
Coleen W.June 12, 2013 at 4:45 PM (10 years ago)
So incredibly happy for you and Matt! This is such wonderful news and a testament to your faithfulness. God has blessed you!Reply
Heather SusurasJune 12, 2013 at 7:33 PM (10 years ago)
KandaceJune 12, 2013 at 7:38 PM (10 years ago)
Praise the Lord for He is good and His mercies endure forever. I am thrilled with your results and pray that your body remains disease free. Cancer has no legal right to be in your body in the Name of Jesus! I was recently diagnosed with ovarian cancer and undergoing chemotherapy at this time. I know Jesus is my ultimate healer.Reply
Robert ShawJune 13, 2013 at 12:04 AM (10 years ago)
That is wonderful news!!
linds_rJune 13, 2013 at 12:35 AM (10 years ago)
That’s brilliant news! So happy for you xxReply
LindaJune 13, 2013 at 12:54 AM (10 years ago)
Thanking God now for you cancer free status and prayers you will remain free.Reply
JennineJune 13, 2013 at 9:30 AM (10 years ago)
God is good! So happy for your awesome news!Reply
Pete SorrellsJuly 5, 2013 at 3:14 AM (10 years ago)
Awesome news! So glad to see this. We love you!Reply