August 23, 2011

You Can't Get Better Than Zero!

The glass doors swoosh and blow a little air into my face as I leave the underground parking lot and enter the hospital headed for the elevators.  I always push the “up” button with the middle joint of my middle finger. Have you ever thought of how many germs have accumulated on those elevator buttons? ! I am much more cautious about such things now.  
No matter how many times I have entered these doors, rode this elevator, headed for floor number 2, clinic B.  I always think back of my first visit.  It has been 33 months.  Almost three years.  This place used to be my battle zone.  Today I just want to put all of that behind me.  Today I see if I have won the war.
The elevator doors open and I leave my dark memories behind.  I step into the beautiful lobby and almost feel at home as I enter the clinic.  I know many of the nurses and employees by name and even more by face.  I haven’t  been here for six months; I used to spend so much of my life here in the beginning. 
 These people know what I have been through.  They understood the fear in my eyes and the crack in my voice when I began treatment.  They have seen me at my worst.  Holding my hand and reminding me to breathe while I brace myself for the bone marrow biopsy. Drawing countless vials of blood and asking about how my family is doing; What I did for summer vacation. They remind me that I can do this. Hopefully they will see me at my best.
Maybe that is why I wore a dress to my appointment today.  Last Thursday I  went through the usual tests. (see test results on side bar)  Not that there is anything usual or common about them.  Today Dr. Tricot head of research and expert oncologist of multiple myeloma (Not melanoma) will go over test results and discuss with me the “Plan.”  (This is where Alex Trebek comes in with the music from Jeopardy.  Hum a long if you would like. Da da Da da. da da da.)
And this is what he said in his Belgium accent................."Things look perfect and you cannot get better than perfect.”   Which interpreted into Western English means.  I am done with treatment!  My numbers are doing what they are supposed to.  And to further explain he added....."You can't get better than zero!"

I am DONE with treatment
One year of not-one-but-two stem cell transplants. High dose Chemotherapy and recovery.
ONE year of Velcade (more chemo) Thalidomide, Revlimid (ugly friends that help "the velcade go down" and do it's dirty work.
ONE year of the nasty but effective steroid that helped me gain 20 lbs, chubby cheeks, and ADD. (Attention Deficit Disorder.)

So after 33 months of very aggressive treatment I am looking forward to a very, very long remission and hopeful cure.  My beloved Belgium doctor thinks that I have a good shot at it.  I'm taking his word for it.


Stay tuned: What happens now? 


And now for a little help from my friends.  How does one celebrate such an occasion?  Any suggestions from a double scoop of chocolate mint ice cream in a waffle cone to an exotic cruise on a limited budget will be considered.







12 comments:

Sandy said...

How wonderful that you can begin your life again and put some of the past behind you - hard not to have bits of it still attached with all you went through - but now you have Hope and so does your family.... delighted at your good news!

Donna said...

Congratulations!!!

Monica said...

How does one celebrate such a wonderful event?

Hmmm...I think in much the same way as one went through it.

In other words, on your knees. The best way I know to celebrate a second chance at life is to say thank you to the one that gave it to you. So, what shall you do? A special day of prayer and reflection in the mountains? A special church service? A day in the temple? All of those are good starts. And, while you are at it, would you send my up too? It goes something like this:

Dear Lord:
Thank you. Thank you for the many blessings in my life, and especially for all of the little things you have put into my life at just the right moment. I pray and thank you for all of it...a warm touch, a dry kleenex, a quiet moment. All of these things were here all along, but things I haven't fully appreciated until now. Thank you. Thank you for the bigger blessings, too. Things like family, friends, and good health. They, too, are more meaningful to me today than they were only a few years ago. Thank you, Lord, for precious life. I understand the value of even the smallest signs of human life, and appreciate it all the more having nearly lost my own. I trust my life to you, dear God, the one who grants it to me every moment. May you help me along my path, wherever it leads, and may I always do what pleases you. Thank you. -M.

Vannette said...

Kris, Kris, Kris, . . . .
How wonderful for you. Glen and I are so excited to read your news today. Well done!

I also feel as if I could have written some of what you wrote. We have just arrived home from being on floor 2, clinic b. Didn't see the belgan doctor today, but soon.

Welcome to "New Beginnings". Take care,
Vannette

Linda said...

I just loved reading your step-by-step account of going to your appointment to receive your results. I bet there isn't one fellow patient, or caregiver, that hasn't shared your feelings about everything you have been through. And CONGRATULATIONS on the outcome! Now to live life to the fullest...free of MM!

girllimberlost said...

Climb a mountain. :D I'll go with you!!!

Melinda said...

You have with great grace showed us all "how to move a mountain". I am so happy for you! What a battle you and you family have fought.
Enjoy your time with your family. Just enjoy the life you have been given.
Love ya tons,
Melinda

girllimberlost said...

p.s. Whenever you are ready to climb it ... I know it might be awhile, but I just think it would be a fitting celebration, even if it has to be delayed ... slightly :D

Anonymous said...

Congrats to you and continued good health!!!!Maybe a weekend away with the hubby to celebrate? Some place breathtakingly beautiful.
Denise

Natalia said...

I apologize for posting this on your blog, I just didn’t know how else to contact you! My name is Natalia and I’m the Community Coordinator for an online health community called WEGO Health (www.wegohealth.com). I came across your blog, HOW TO MOVE A MOUNTAIN, while doing some research into the online Blood Cancer community. I was so impressed with the great resource you have created for the greater Blood Cancer community.

Just wanted to drop you a quick note because we recently launched a new video platform called WEGOHealth.tv and are in the process of building a Blood Cancer Channel featuring the advice, information and wisdom of Health Activists like yourself. I think you would be an excellent addition to the channel and I would love to chat with you about possibly creating a video with us!

Please check out our site; http://tv.wegohealth.com/ and get back to me at your convenience if you have any interest.

I know this note is a little out of the blue and I understand if it’s not something you would be interested in, but I didn’t want you to miss out on the opportunity.

Thanks,

Natalia
Community Coordinator
WEGO Health
nataliaf@wegohealth.com

Mel and Angus said...

That is music to my ears! I can't even imagine how you must of felt when you heard those words! Congratulations!!!!

We missed seeing you guys when we were in Utah! How is your missionary doing?

Lori Puente said...

So great to read your story here. I use my knuckle to hit the elevator button! I don't even have MM, but as you know we caregivers take similar care in the things we touch.

We just got back from our 6 mos check up in Ark and also had a great report. :)

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