Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Joy, With Reservations

A very quick update. Today was 3 weeks exactly since Elaine’s final chemo infusion, and we had an appointment with the terrific Dr. Buckley, who would give us an update. Last Friday she had a PET scan, which shows the progress of the tumors and provides a basis for evaluating the status of her cancer. Needless to say, we’ve been on pins and needles for the past few days, hoping the report would be good. We are not superstitious, but somehow we found ourselves not wanting to hope too much, for fear of jinxing the result.

Steve bounded into the room, and blurted out, “Your PET was “Perfect! Perfect!” He gave hugs all around, and then I asked him what that meant exactly. He said that there were no detectable signs of nodules or metastases in the images. While micro-tumors or cancerous cells could still be lurking in there, Elaine’s cancer is officially in clinical remission.

I thought Elaine was going to cry, and I thought FOR SURE that I was going to cry. Elaine has cheerfully gone through a relentlessly exhausting and debilitating set of surgeries and treatments for 7 months. Now she’ll have the chance to have life return to normal, to taste food again, to feel her fingertips again, to go through a day without needing to lie down. Little things do matter tremendously.

Steve commented that Elaine had responded amazingly strongly and well to the treatment. I can’t help but believe that her fitness, her diet, her attitude, all played a critical role. Perhaps the streamlined body and soul offer the least resistance and are the most resilient.

The monster may be sated, but only for the moment. For most women with ovarian, the cancer returns within 36 months, and then the options are fewer and the results are often dire. So as joyful as we are at the moment – and we really are joyful - we’re still very much focused on the very promising next generation of treatments that might give her much more of a chance.

Tonight we’ll celebrate a little, and luxuriate in the news. Tonight or tomorrow night, please drink a toast to Elaine’s health, because good wine is a deep part of her religion.

Thanks for going through this with us.

(Elaine and) Brian


  1. great news!
    mine is a good burgundy.


  2. and mine is a petit syrah ... what fabulous news!
    cheers and hugs -

  3. connie posted the previous comment, even tho it sez billy did. billy is, however, almost equally excited with the news.
    his is an ommagong (beer) which might be spelled wrong.

  4. Elaine and Brian, that is great news! Celebrate until the cows come home and then celebrate some more! Keeping you both in my prayers and filled with joy knowing they have been heard and answered, if only for the moment. Will continue to keep you both there.

  5. What great news! You should celebrate and try not to think down the road. Will say a prayer and make a toast to Elaine and you.

  6. This is fantastic news! Congratulations! We believe there is continuing good news to come.
    Jerry and Alice

  7. This has been my first "blog experience", and I thank you for including me in your story. We all want to know how both of you are coping with this disruption to your lives but we are often afraid to ask. You write so eloquently and demonstrate so much bravery and positive attitude, that these updates are a compelling reminder of how fragile our lives are but we can nonetheless live them with energy and passion. I will celebrate your good news too.

  8. We join in the joy. Let's consider this the first of two Thanksgiving weekends. Champagne! (the real stuff) is required. Love, love and more love to you both...Jane, Robert and Anna