Monday, January 03, 2011

Humble Acknowlegement

My last scans came in clear. Again.

This means that every scan since last April has been free from active cancer. My breast shows no evidence that there was ever a tumor in it. My liver has no lesions. My bones, though scarred, show no significant uptake on PET scan. I have one little "hot spot" on a single rib that is almost certainly a microfracture over a healed lesion . And that is all.

For some reason, even though I have had good scan after good scan, I have been reluctant to declare myself as the miracle I know that I am. Jay has been anxious for our NED party, but I have not been able to give the all clear for it. Perhaps it is because I have been quite guarded that this good news could end at any time, or maybe it is because I am waiting for the bones to completely heal (which they may never do). Whatever the reason has been, it is time to move forward.

So here is my declaration: I am a walking miracle! God has chosen to heal me, has heard all the prayers and has answered them. Apparently, I have more to do here on earth (no pressure, right?!). I am humbled and so very grateful, especially for my family who needs me.

My oncologist told me at my last visit that I have demonstrated a "complete response" to treatment. In other words, I am in remission as far as Stage IV can be in remission. He very frankly told me that he didn't know what to do with me now, that no one could know, as we sailed off the map long ago on this clinical trial. Should we go off the medicine and hope the cancer does not return or should we keep on with it for a good while? He does not know and neither do I. He has to assume, based on his years of experience, that there are still some cancerous cells in my body that are just too small to see radiologically. Yet, he also says I might be cured. Only God knows.

So, for now, we have decided to continue with the treatments since the side effects are tolerable for me (certainly versus the potential alternative!). This decision was made easier due to the fact that T-DM1 is not yet commercially available and I could not go back to it if I wanted to.

While I cannot technically have a NED party (No Evidence of Disease) since my bones show plenty of evidence, I most certainly can have a CR (Complete Response) party and intend to do so shortly. I think I will wait for one more clean scan, just to be sure, and then, with all of you as witness to this promise, will set a date and start the planning.

And there you have it.

23 comments:

antonia said...

What an increadible gift and grace from God. I am so thankful and grateful to Him for giving you this blessing.

God bless

Tiffany Hayes said...

Suzanne, you bring me to tears! I am so happy for your miracle. I am sure there is plenty more for you to do here with us!!

Much love,
Tiffany

Anonymous said...

I for one will be there, first in line for that party ! And not just for the food and Jay's Martguerita's, but to help you celebrate the miracle. Because like your family, I don't know what I would do without you in my life :) xo

Kerry said...

wonderful wonderful news!!!

Anonymous said...

Wow, great news!

Karin McAdams said...

Suzanne, I do understand why you're reluctant to celebrate, even as you receive your news with joy. I'm not sure why, but I've been so much like that, even though I barely think of myself as a cancer survivor anymore. Perhaps it's partly that the Spirit seems to tell me to take the "good" and the "bad" as part of life and not make too much fuss over either.

But at the same time your news thrills me and leaves me with no doubt that God has blessed you in a wonderful way.

Mayor Allaire said...

NED, CR and joy and hope and faith prayers and parties to you my dear, dear "Saint" Suzanne. Sometimes my prayers are answered. Love and light, God and your humble servant, Allaire

Michelle said...

What winderful news to share! Happy new year!

Annie Bizzi said...

Through tears of joy I read your post and can't believe the miracle we have witnessed. When you told me a year ago that I would lose a friend, I never stopped praying, hoping, and pleading for something like this to happen (although we didn't know how or when)--what an absolute act of God, assistance from the saints and in particular, the intercession of Bishop Don Alvaro!

Sarah said...

Thank you God!!!!!
Love you Suzanne. You are right, you are here for a reason.
Tell me where and when to celebrate
I wouldn't miss it.
Love, Sarah McCormick

Anonymous said...

Praise God!!! We can't wait to celebrate with you!! -AO

Emily Aoun said...

Note to self: Do not read a non-Bella post while pregnant...unless, of course, you want to sob for hours. (Happy tears, of course.) You are AMAZING!! I am so grateful for this wonderful miracle!! I don't even know what to say...which is probably for the best as I can't see what I am typing through these tears! You and your wonderful family will always be in our prayers! Love always!

JoAnn Larson said...

Suzanne, just read your blog. We thank our God for your miracle and look forward to celebrating with you at your party. You and your family will continue in our prayers. God bless you, JoAnn

caitlin said...

Suzanne-
Thanks be to God! It is a miracle and I am sure that God has more work for you to do. You are an amazing woman! We would all be lost without you! Hope to be at you party!
Love, Caiti

nutmeg said...

What awesome news, Suzanne~
Happy New Year, indeed!!
:)

Anonymous said...

Whoo hoo!!! Bringing my dancing shoes out of storage (even if they are now an orthopedic model) My joy cannot find words so my feet will have to do it. Love you so my precious daughter
love Mom

Vanessa L. said...

Suzanne Izzi!!
I do not know where to begin...First I wasn't to say, YAY for the prayers being answered and you are in the clear!! I lost touch with you. We were childhood friends in elementary school, then I moved away (Main Elementary, 4th Grade), and we lost touch. You truly touched my heart growing up and we went through many life's lessons together (not to mention ballet, peanut gallery/improv - lol, remember?). I have been trying to find you.. I don't do the "facebook" thing and have no way of connecting with you..I had no idea you have been going through such a challenging time and I am sorry we haven't connected any sooner.. The blessing is having a beautiful, supportive family! I only wish we would have connected a long time ago but I hope by me posting this, we can reconnect? I will be praying for you and your family! Much love, Vanessa

Vanessa L. said...

Oops! In my previous message, that was supposed to be, "First, I WANTED to say, YAY for the prayers being answered and you are in the clear!!"...Believe it or not, this is my first Blog I have written a response. I only hope you will be reading this..

Vanessa L. said...

I would also like to add how much I remember your Mother and the way she worked so hard but always made the time to chauffer us to our little classes and events..she was very proactive in your life..she was a true Saint, raising a Saint and now you have 7 little Saints :) WHAT A BLESSING! I love it!

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure I can express how wonderful this news is...I almost couldn't even post because of that. Although this journey is not over(I'm not referring to cancer but to life)- the way you've handled it is incredibly inspirational and a real reminder and lesson in faith. Just wanted to thank you for that. And tell you that this is amazing. Love, Maura

Bianca said...

Praise be to God! Tears of joy for sure!! I definitely think it has to do with the intercession of Bishop Don Alvaro. I would love to celebrate with you and your family! You are such a blessing to so many families near and far. Your witness, your faith, your complete submission to do God's will is a testament for all of us to strive for. I eagerly await the news of another clear scan so the party planning can begin! WOO HOO!!!
Love, Bianca

anna lisa said...

Wow. This time last year the world was a much bleaker place...A miracle on two levels...That God continues to give man the wisdom to unravel this terrible mystery, and that YOU no doubt were "fast tracked" to a miracle, for obvious reasons! What hope and joy! You, Jay and the kids must be walking on air.

Love,
Anna Lisa

Kristin R said...

What a wonderful way to start the year. I'm so happy for you Suz -- boy do you deserve it. Lots of love, Kristin