January 21, 2009, almost one year ago, was the day I received the news I had cancer. I didn't cry then. Today, January 4, 2010, is the day I received the news I AM CANCER FREE!!!! Today I can't stop crying!!!! The Lord has promised that He would never put more on us than we can bear, so for days now I have been praying that the Lord's grace would be sufficient for me, no matter what the news would be that I would receive today. I honestly didn't think I could bear knowing there was more cancer so soon. The thought of more surgeries, chemo or radiation was almost more than I could bear to even think might be a possibility right now. But because of my God's faithfulness this past year, I did all I knew to do....Pray that His grace would once again be sufficient for me no matter what the news. I know my life is in His precious hands and there is no place I would rather it be. I believe His promise that "all things work together for good to those that love Him". I am so thankful that He has chosen for me to be cancer free right now. I praise His Holy Name for His love and faithfulness to me.
I go to Nashville to Dr. Netterville's this Thursday, January 7, at 2:00. He will probably run a scope up my nose and down my throat again to check everything out. It is not something, while in my right mind, I look forward to, but it is not quite as bad as it sounds. I will have another PET scan in April and then again every three months for the first year. If those remain clear I will then have a PET scan every four months for the second year. For the next five years I will have PET scans several times a year. Every year I remain cancer free is a good thing, after five years of being cancer free I will have a good chance of not having to deal with this again.
Someone asked me, quite etiquettely, the other day, what was my long term outlook? This made me think there are probably others out there curious to know what my long term outlook is. No one has asked me that before. I don't mind discussing it though. The fact is oral cancer is very rare, only 600 people a year in the US are diagnosed with oral cancer. Of those 600, only 1% are minor salivary glad cancers, and from what I understand the kind of cancer I have is even less than 1% of that 1%. They say the Adenocarcinoma I have is found in the lungs or liver but not in the oral cavity. So, all of this being said, I don't think they really know exactly what the statistics are for my cancer. I have been told by a couple of doctors that I have a 70% chance of living five years, then I have also been told by a couple of doctors, whom I chose to believe, that with the surgeries I have had and the treatments that I have had, I should never have to worry about this cancer again. So I guess the bottom line is, I really don't know any more about my mortality than anyone else!!! I know my life is in the Lord's hands and as I have tried to reassure my children...If the Lord wants me to live ten more minutes, then I will live ten more minutes!!! If the Lord wants me to live ten more years, then I will live ten more years!!! My life is in His Holy hands and I wouldn't want it any other way.
As I think back over this past year and all the heartache my family has been through, as weird as it may sound I honestly wouldn't change it. I guess, if anything, I would be tempted to "change" the heartache Wendell and the girls have gone through, but then as I am reminded that "all things work together for good to them that love the Lord", I wouldn't change it because I know the Lord has taught us all some very important things. I know if they really open their eyes and look they can see God's faithfulness, grace, love and mercy towards our family.
We have also experienced the love and kindness of friends, family, and complete strangers, time and time again over this past year. I only hope to be able to return that love and kindness in every way I can from now on, as the Lord blesses me with the ability. Once again Thank You sounds soooo lame...but I do THANK YOU for all your prayers, cards, emails, letters, phone calls, texts, financial help, and everything else you have done to make life a little easier for me and my family!!!!!