Monday, October 31, 2011

Best Halloween Costume Ever

This afternoon I had blood drawn for a PCR remission test (described at the end of Go FISH). I'll receive the result next Monday.

Ryan and I are more nervous than we should be. The oncologist says the test should show that I'm cancer free. We believe him, mostly. But there's a part of us that can't stop worrying. A year ago, we thought nothing could go wrong. And then something did go wrong.

If the PCR test shows zero blood cells with the genetic mutation that indicates acute promyelocytic leukemia, then I start the third and final phase of my treatment Monday, November 7th. If it shows even one cancer cell, then I would have a bone marrow biopsy to confirm the result. Once confirmed, I would do another round of the arsenic trioxide treatment I did over the summer. If a PCR test after that still showed cancer, then an involved process of determining the best type of bone marrow transplant would ensue.

But that scenerio will be irrelevant. Because even if Ryan and I can't help being a little nervous, my oncologist doesn't share our skepticism. He knows the statistics, and understands on a molecular level excactly what all these drugs have been doing to cure me. Today, while dressed as Danny Zuco from the movie Grease (his registered nurses were dressed as the Pink Ladies.), he reminded us of the favorable odds.

Over the past few weeks, I had been thinking it would be fun to wear a costume for Halloween that made light of my situation. I could have been Rapunzel, or Mr. Clean.

Today I wore neither, but I was still in costume. This evening I dressed as someone who's not afraid of a relapse, someone who still trusts that things will go right. It was the best costume I've ever worn, and I plan to wear it as often as possible.