Then: a bomb exploded, instant shock, followed closely by what felt like never-ending fright! On April 1st, 2004, Katherine and my world was turned upside down—never, ever again able to regain it’s innocence. Our cancer-free virginity was gone for good. There was no cause determined for my sinus cancer, no known treatment, and worst of all, few, if any, three-year survivors.
In the beginning, trying to survive meant trying to breath minute by minute. Then, hours without answers or relief, finally the hours added up to dread-filled days. Every night I ingested a small, pink Klonopin pill in an attempt to quell the panic and get some desperately needed sleep.
As we detailed in our book, the dour oncologists at the University Center provided zero reassurance and no hope! What they did offer, however, was toxic chemotherapy and damaging radiation—lots of it. At the end of the day it was Katherine, my miracle worker, who kept me alive with love and complementary treatments during eight weeks of pure hell.
The ensuing days slowly morphed into months, with survival being newly defined as making it to my six-month scan. Katherine, more determined than ever, spent countless hours researching alternative treatments and gave me 70 non-prescription pills per day. My six month scan following treatment was—clear! A faint light was flickering at the end of the tunnel, could it actually be . . . ? Then, the one year scan—clear!—unbelievable yet must believe . . .the two year scan—clear!—WOW!—tears . . . thankyouthankyouthankyou . . .
The crucial three year scan; the hallmark of survival, the X factor—clear!!! From then on, there were fewer and fewer doubts even though, as I’ve written, not one of my oncologists has ever used the word:”cured”.
Now: Eleven years of cancer survival! Eleven years chock-full of life and love. Yes, there have been major losses along the way, damage done by the chemo and rads: left eye gone, thyroid destroyed, etc. Yet I’ve been able to reach many of my goals, such as seeing my daughter off to kindergarten—check, high school—check, eleven years loving my miracle worker—check, check, check!!
Every night I tell Katherine and Emerson “I love you forever”, and every morning I wake with gratitude that I am still alive! Every day I celebrate!