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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Spring and relief

It was so odd how within the space of a week we went from snow and cold to warmth and spring. There was some damage to early flowers and buds on trees but so much is blooming again that it's hard to even notice the damage. We may still return to the cold and more damage but at the moment, I'm enjoying spring in full force.
The wildlife are certainly enjoying the warmer weather and becoming increasingly abundant. I enjoy listening to the bird calls and wish I was better at recognizing the individual voices.It was a huge relief to get past my March doctor's appointments and four year PET/CT scan. The fact that I've gone four years now without a melanoma recurrence is making me increasingly optimistic. I remember after my three year scan, I decided that I was done with melanoma. I felt like I had to reach a point where I put it behind me. To a large extent that worked. I have worried less, talked about it less, in general moved on with the rest of my life.
The problem is I am still followed by oncologists, a dermatologist, a pain specialist, blah, blah, blah, and I still get annual full body scans. Sometimes I think to put it behind me I need to drop all of the doctors, although that's not possible in terms of pain management. That has been the hardest part, dealing with the physical "issues" I've had following my lymph node dissection. The issues have made it hard for me to listen to my body. As a matter of fact I've had to learn to stop listening to my body. I've blogged enough about all of that in past years and at this point I like to focus on relief. The relief of being one of the lucky ones who are diagnosed with a deep melanoma primary and a positive node but don't have a recurrence.
It's even possible that some of my physical problems are part of why I've done so well with the cancer. My body may have mounted its own autoimmune response which have resulted in irritating pain but are part of why the cancer hasn't recurred. The fact that my C reactive protein has been high every time my rheumatologist tested it is at least one indication that my body has had an autoimmune response of some kind.
I didn't intend for this post to start veering into the whine territory so I'm going to end with relief. The birds are singing, the flowers are blooming, and my four years tests and appointments are done with and turned out well.

13 comments:

ramblingwoods.com said...

I don't think you're whining. I think you gave a good explanation of how it is to deal with an illness and the pain that can result. I have wondered about cancer as my body had so much autoimmune stuff going on. Your explanation makes a lot of sense. I am very happy for you. Try to live inbetween the docs and tests...

Yolanda said...

Such beautiful springtime visions.

Dora said...

Like the white and yellow flower! ;)

Voyager said...

Congratulations on four years!! My sister is a six year melanoma survivor. She had two primary sites.
You're not whining when you write about health issues. They are part of your reality.
Beautiful photos of the daffodils. I'm afraid for mine, they were just about open when this record setting cold snap hit, and the snow knocked them flat.
V.

Mar said...

Such great news and wonderful shots, Carver. I am very happy for you !
Love the bright yellow and the birds.

the donG said...

the first photo alone can already describe the season. i think everyone's excited about this season. even flowers!

AscenderRisesAbove said...

wonderful daffodils. I sure miss the red cardnals - we don't get those here

Dee said...

Carver, I understand that you almost hate to hear yourself whining after doing it so much. But, hell, girl, you're entitled! I think the thing is to whine and get it out of your system and then go forward being happy and thankful and all that.

That's interesting about what you say about the autoimmune response and how that might contribute to your pain. Might I suggest some visualization and maybe starting to talk your body into letting down its defenses so that you don't have to live with the pain might help?

Well, congrats on getting it all over and done with!

SandyCarlson said...

Those spring shots are lovely. I am glad all went well with the oncologist.

Jackie said...

I remember I time when I thought that the return of my arthritis meant the return of my cancer. The I realized it was probably the opposite. The pain meant that my body was busy fighting off the cancer. Whatever the case, I simply don't expect the cancer to return. That's my story. I'm sticking to it. :) Hooray for 4 years for you, friend! I'm not too awfully far behind you! It will be three years in August. Yeeee ha!

Daryl said...

Yeah on the all clear, feel free to vent whenever you want, I have big ears and strong shoulders! .. and thanks for such sunshine-y photos!

Liz said...

Your body is responding to your mental fighting spirit. Well done!

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