On Wednesday of this week, I heard that the latest round of films were clean--no tumors in my lungs or in my abdomen. Lungs and livers are the places advanced-stage colon cancer likes best. The fact that they appear to be cancer-free now doesn't mean I'm cured, not by a long shot. But it does raise the odds, if only by a little, that I'll be around for awhile longer. For me, that's very good news.
Not long ago, a wise friend told me that the key to navigating cancer treatment is not to get too high when the news is good, and not to get too low when it's bad. That's good advice: there are many twists and turns in this road, enough so that good or bad news is likely to be followed, sometime, by its opposite. Even so, I can't help experiencing a measure of joy about this latest development. Maybe--just maybe--I'll live to hold a grandchild, or see my sons, ages 20 and 18, graduate from college. If not, that's OK; I don't feel cheated: many, many people in this sad world suffer much worse and deserve much better than I. Good medical news is no moral entitlement--not something I'm supposed to have. The feeling is more akin to a child's wonder at the packages under the tree on Christmas morning. I remember that feeling well; it seemed as though my whole body smiled. It feels that way now. Even if there are no more such presents, thanks be to God for this one.