Yesterday, as I was preparing to leave the house to visit my friend Pat R. for lunch, I saw that I had missed a call on my cell phone while I was upstairs getting ready. An assistant from my gynecologic oncologist’s office had called, something that usually fills me with apprehension. But she ended her message by saying, “It’s for good news.”
Of course, I couldn’t call back fast enough, and luckily I got the same assistant in this very busy office on the first try. It was, indeed, good news: a completely normal Pap report. And I got it a whole week sooner than I expected!
As I reported in my August 13 post, I have been dismayed all summer by ongoing light vaginal discharge and a previously abnormal Pap that showed “epithelial cell abnormality” in the form of “atypical glandular cells of undetermined significance (AGUS).” A few women friends have told me they’ve had an abnormal Pap on one visit followed by a normal Pap on the next. But they hadn’t been diagnosed or treated for cancer of the uterus. Happily, though, this same thing happened to me, someone who has undergone a total hysterectomy and vaginal radiation (brachytherapy) for a potentially lethal disease.
It was such a joy to be able to tell Pat, who gleefully shared my good news with a hug, a glass of wine, and a lovely lunch and visit by her pool. This was a potent reminder that all we have is now, and we should endeavor to fully experience our moments with our full being. In my February 20 post, I included a photo of a gift Pat had given me just after I concluded my brachytherapy treatments, and I just had to include it again here. (And I did wear this yesterday.)
Wishing all my sisters out there struggling with gynecologic cancers the very best as they persevere with their treatments and wait . . . patiently . . . for test results, possibly the hardest thing cancer patients are called upon to do.
And, again, heartfelt thanks to Pat for sharing this uncommonly happy day with me yesterday and for serving me a lunch that, fittingly, ended with a lovely bowl of cherries in the already waning days of summer (I won’t mention the Klondike Bar).
For more information about uterine cancer and my personal story, click here.
And stay tuned for more information on this disease, as well as many other healthcare topics on our sister site, The Patient’s Path.