The cancer song drags on; the lyrics unchanged. The beat, rhythmic, still dictates my day. Almost five and a half years since that wretched, bitter-sweet chemo last pulsated through my veins. Life does go on but every time I revisit 'the place' everything comes rushing back and it seems just like last week.
Today I am expecting to hear a different tune. I am hoping and praying that God, in His great mercy, will release me from the clutches of cancer and I will hear with certainty - free from cancer. We don't need to see you again! World Ovarian Cancer day; a fitting day for me to hear such words.
I have been called in to the examination room. quickly. Usually I have to wait for almost an hour.
"We are actually on schedule," Nurse Nancy tells me. I look at my watch and plan a little what I will do with the extra time.
I wait in the tiny examination room, hospital gown draped, wondering about the verdict. I feel good. The niggle in my abdomen is still there, but the CT scan showed zero reason to be concerned, the medical receptionist had told me.
Now I long to hear those freedom words, but there is a silly twinge in my soul that scares me about being set free. I've spoken to a few other cancer survivors about this phenomena. They know how I feel. There is something reassuring about being under the watchful eye of experienced medical staff and an oncologist every six months, who know how to spot the early signs.
I look through my journal and read my heart. Maybe I will always carry cancer in my pocket. I smile and think about all the people who have come into my life as a result of cancer. I will never say that I am grateful that I had cancer and I have trouble counting it all pure joy, my brethren, but I do marvel at how God taught me so much and blessed me equally as much as I travelled down that road.
I think back to last evening (Wednesday) when I had the privilege of speaking and sharing my story and doing my best to help raise awareness about ovarian cancer with over fifty lovely women from four different churches. I remember well, my words of hope to each of them. I determine, today, to practise what I preach!
Dr. S walks in grinning his little boy grin. His hair is longer than it was six months ago. Shouldn't he have a haircut, the mother in me wonders? Something about doctors these days. Dr. S looks more like my son than my wise oncologist. But he knows his stuff. My chart looks thick. He leafs through the papers and finds the latest CT scan report.
"All clear," he reminds me and smiles.
He examines me. We chat a little. I realize I am a number. I understand. So many cancer patients. Then we talk about the niggle in my abdomen. Dr. S assures me it is likely a side effect of the chemo that is here to stay for the duration of my days. It's okay. It's far from unbearable. At least the pins and needles in my feet have settled most days.
"How about I see you in one year?" Dr. S suggests. I remember my separation anxiety.
"Yes, suits me," I reply.
He leaves and I dress, thinking about how time actually flies. This very same room was where I learned of my fate and the craziness began. I thank God that the appointment was quick today, and the news was good. I touch my World Ovarian Cancer button pinned to my top and I smile and then I think of my sisters who did not have the privilege of a day like this. I vow to remember my promise to do what I can to help raise awareness. I toss my gown onto the examination table and head out, determined to make a difference in my little corner of the world, at least.