Today is my three-month follow-up appointment with my oncologist. My main oncologist. Although I will continue to see them every three months for the next two years, in my mind this signals the end of active treatment. Done with chemo, done with radiation, no lingering cancer cells according to the PET scan. It's bittersweet...I'll miss those folks and now I'm kind of on my own.
I've thought for several months about how to say thank you to them. I know it's their job but I also know that medical care is not always this thoughtful and kind. To go to a place as often as I have in the past nine months and never feel dread is an amazing thing. I always felt cradled in their caring arms. How do you find words for that?
I wasn't sure cookies were a good idea but my Facebook friends assured me they would be appreciated. I don't like to shove food at people but I guess they can walk the halls with the colorful bag and pass them out to people who are interested in the major food groups that went into this baking...butter, peanut butter, and chocolate. How could we live without it?
I've learned from my cousin (and my mom) that if you like to bake, be prepared to give most of it away. She once brought cookies to a woman she met in Target who lived in a tiny house and didn't have an oven. This winter, she sent me lefse (twice) and a lemon pound cake made from lemons that grow in their back yard. Gifts of food are gifts from the heart.
This is the basket that I keep right next to my leopard chair in the living room. Every card I've gotten since my cancer diagnosis in November is in this basket. I intend to sort through them and attempt to thank each person who sent one. That's my intention and you know how those can go. If you're reading this and you sent one, know how much I appreciated every word.
Also the cyber support...Facebook messages, emails, phone calls, blog comments. I had regular visitors, regulars callers, and regular party participants. So many things to be very grateful for today. Cancer. Not something you would sign up for but certainly a learning experience for life.
It's been quite a year.