If you were to asking me a year ago if I would be where I am today in my cancer life, I would have said hell no. No way in hell I would be considered NED (no evidence of disease). I had a hard time thinking I would come out ahead in this journey. That I would beat my cancer. The last 2 years of dealing with cancer, I have always felt that huge question mark if I would come out as a survivor. I was dealing with metastatic colon cancer and had no idea where my life was going. For me, it was all about survival and surviving as long as I could. I was learning how to deal with my cancer and learning that cancer was my life. Now, I am learning how to thrive because I am a metastatic colon cancer SURVIVOR. WTF! It still is a shock for me to think about and wrap my head around it all. Honestly, I did not know I would have ever gotten to this point in my cancer life. No one did…even my oncologist. I am learning that I am truly a walking miracle! Saying that just gives me chills and tears in my eyes. Being a cancer patient isn’t my life anymore. I am no longer a cancer patient!
Knowing that I am NED (no evidence of disease) blows my mind, blows a lot of minds to those who have been going through this life with me. But, finding this “new” life after cancer is no walk in the park. It is not easy one bit. It is difficult and challenging. I am not only figuring out this survivor life and how it will look like moving forward in a different direction, but I am also figuring out this surgically induced menopause life and who I am as a 29 year old woman. I am working on finding my place again. It is tough, it is emotional, and it is a rollercoaster in itself. I feel like I am starting my life over and figuring out how to stand on my own two feet again. Some people may say this is so exciting for you Audrey – you get to start fresh! Don’t get me wrong, it truly is, but when all you knew the last 2 years was being a cancer patient and dealing with all the shit that comes with it and not knowing if you would make it – this “new” life is scary and nerve racking. It is a work in progress for me, but if I can deal with battling cancer the last 2-ish years – I can deal with finding my “new” place in life. Baby steps!
The update – This past Wednesday, I had a CT scan and bloodwork done so we have a baseline moving forward in this thriving “normal” life of mine. Also, to have something to go off of for my future follow-ups to make sure this cancer is staying far away and NEVER returning. Today (Nov. 15th), I went in to meet with my oncologist to get the results. And – all came back amazing. All good news! My bloodwork is looking great and my CT scan results showed NOTHING concerning. My weight is improving and my incision is healing well. My oncologist was very happy with how everything looked! Big smiles all around in that room today. My oncologist said it again, I am a anomaly when it comes to the stage of the cancer I had which is so true. I never liked to play things safe anyways! For the next year, I will be going in every 3 months for bloodwork and a CT scan. If something strange shows up, I will have a biopsy to figure out what is going on. If everything comes back amazing every 3 months for a year, I will then move to just having frequent bloodwork done and my CT scan schedule will be more spaced out. That plan will go on for a couple years. So – for the next several years of my life, I will be monitored in some way! It is very crazy for me to write this and let you all know this is my plan moving forward. It is insane and as much as I am nervous, scared, and emotional – I am so ready for my next chapter of life being NED!
To top it off, this was a great start to my vacation! After battling cancer the last 2 years of my life and grieving the loss of my dad as well, I am going on my first big vacation with a great friend to Arizona. I will be enjoying the sunshine, the warm weather, sipping tasty drinks beside the pool, and seeing some friends who I have not seeing in a very long time. I am so ready for this! I am so ready to live life again!