After waiting a very long time for the elevator to arrive, we both got on at the 6th floor and got off at the 1st floor. On the way down, we struck up a conversation, and why not? We were both at the same hospital, in the same elevator leaving the same floor at the same time. The topic was bound to be Cancer.
She told me an amazing story that gave me hope for the first time this journey with my husband started.
She was there because a spot was found on her lungs. After having just completed another CT scan with contrast, the spot is no longer suspicious for Cancer.
This woman went on to tell me that in 2005, she was diagnosed with lung cancer. I immediately thought, "Wow, people usually don't survive lung cancer. But wait! Did she say 2005?" As she continued to tell me her story, I did quick mental count on my fingers. That's eight years! She said that in 2005, she had surgery to removed the lower part of her lobe and underwent both chemo and radiation. She said it was rough but here she was.
Since we were telling stories, I told her that my husband is here getting Chemo right now.
She then told me that thirteen years ago she had cancer in her pancreas.
In my head, I heard Thirteen years ago? Wha???
She told me that the cancer was found in the pancreas near the bile duct and hadn't yet settled completely in her pancreas but it was enough to give her symptoms that needed to be checked out and that was when they found it. She told me that part of her pancreas was removed, the surgery called the Whipple was done and because of the part of the organ that is missing she is now a diabetic.
I'm completely familiar with this scenerio because it is exactly the same as my father-in-law's story, only he had the Whipple 7 years ago and he is considered to be a walking miracle.
One might think that by going through this with my father in law, that I would believe that survivors of this disease is highly possible. The difference between these two scenarios is that my father in law was never diagnosed with cancer. In fact, he's written up in a medical journal for being fortunate enough to catch his condition before it turned cancerous. This kind woman I met, was, in fact, diagnosed with cancer and survived 13 years to tell her story. She looked wonderful and it would not surprise me to see her live another 13 years. She looked great.
I needed to hear this. It gave me hope.
I thank God, that this woman was placed in my path, that day.