Gratitude Moments #1

Daily Prompt: Year

Daily Prompt: Hopeful

New Year invites us to look ahead, not to look back. I would like to put this in a perspective.

Looking back may remind us the mistakes we had made, thus encourage us to do things differently. Looking back to our achievements boosts our energy to go even further. Looking back to the dangerous spots we had bypassed, the near-death encounters we experienced caused us to ponder: “Who am I to have survived when some did not?”

It is grace that I could cross the threshold of 2016 and step into 2017. This time of year in 2009, I was getting ready for my first bio-chemotherapy. It was a nervous moment to face the outcome of unknown; yet it was a chance I willingly accepted because of my love for my husband and my daughter.

I have to go back a little bit further in time. During my regular annual physical check up in the summer of 2008, my doctor told me that the fibroid in my uterus had grown rapidly within a year. He referred me to my gynecologist. My gynecologist confirmed that it was time to have hysterectomy done. He said, “You are not planning on having more babies, aren’t you?” I giggled without giving an answer.

The hysterectomy was done on July 31, 2008. At 10:00 p.m. on August 1, my gynecologist came to the hospital room to inform me calmly that I had melanoma in my uterus. Even though the uterus was removed, but the cancer cells were still in my female organ area. He told me that all the referrals of testing and surgery were made. He left me his cell phone number because he was going on vacation the next day.

The surgery to remove the cancer cells was done in October. One thing that I still don’t understand till this day was that, the surgeon removed all the cancer cells in the tissues except one cancerous lymph node. He referred me back to my primary care hospital for chemotherapy treatment.

Through a lot of miscommunication, I waited until December before I got the attention of the supervisor of the hospital case management. Then I was referred to a Melanoma expert in United States for treatment. The first bio-chemotherapy treatment was scheduled to be on January 5, 2009. The case management supervisor personally arranged all the CT scan, EKG, Lab work needed to be done before the treatment.

During November and December of waiting time, my cancer went from stage II to stage IV, because the cancer from one lymph node had crossed over to the other side of the body and invaded the whole set of lymph nodes.

This time of the year in 2009, I was waiting for my first cycle of six-month bio-chemotherapy.

The story will be continued…….

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