Did I really just type "two year" check? Has it really been two years since we started this cancer journey? Two years since I started this blog?
Last Wednesday, March 20, 2013 to be exact, we ventured back to St. Louis for Mike's two year checkup. Please rejoice with us that the words that came from Dr. Bruce Haughey after a thorough check of Mike's throat and neck were "Great. 100%" You cannot imagine the relief that swept over us.
If you would have asked either of us if we were stressed over this checkup we would have replied with something like "haven't thought much about it". But underneath everything, there is a strong under current that feels the strain and then releases at the sweet news that no cancer has re-surfaced.
I had forgotten the significance of the "two year" mark. With Mike's particular kind of cancer, if it has not returned by the two year mark, there is a 90% chance that it will never, never, never return. (It was comforting to repeat the never part. Thanks for indulging me.) Dr. Haughey's sweet nurse Nicole put it this way: After the two year mark, we are not so concerned that it will come back. So this is when Dr. H says he will share a can of Coke to celebrate.
We did better than Coke. See the Blanc de Blancs (below) that awaited us at the Vespas when we got back to their house! We had a celebratory dinner complete with wonderful wine, a gourmet dinner, toasts by the fireplace and Irish music in the background.
Mike continues to build his muscle strength after the massive burn out of neck and shoulder tissues from the radiation. Dr. H talked about the fibrosis or scarring of the tissue on his neck, how there will be a continuing fibrotic change in the tissues, and how the DNA effects are never litigated. What I know is that Mike has started a regular workout routine at Anytime Fitness - and Mike's Gym aka pull-up bar in the basement.
We talked about how we will never "get off the bike"... but the journey just changed... for the good.
BLESS THE LORD OH MY SOUL. AND ALL THAT IS WITHIN ME BLESS HIS HOLY NAME.