Hell Yeah!!!

The results of the scans are in…  And the news is good…  Better than good…

My mammogram, bone scan, and PET scan show no more cancer in my bones or in my lymph nodes!!!  Hell yeah!

Yes, you read that right.  The cancer in my femur bone, back, and a gazillion lymph nodes from my chest to my throat is no longer showing up on any of the scans.  The only remaining detectable cancer in my body seems to be confined to my left breast.  And even that has shrunk considerably – down from 6cm and 4cm to a measly .5cm and 1.5cm.

What!??!!!   You wanna piece of me cancer??  I don’t think so bitch!!

I am still in a bit of shock.  I find myself randomly weeping tears of joy at odd times during the day.  I am trying to fully digest what this means.

In the here & now, this means I get a nice chemo vacation.  Another hell yeah!  I will continue on weekly Herceptin (which is my amazing targeted therapy for HER2 cells that only takes 30 mins to drip into my port and has virtually no side effects)…  Plus I’m adding a new pill- Tamoxifen – to the mix.  Must admit I am not thrilled about taking the Tamoxifen.  But I’m gonna give it a chance.

I’ll continue to meet with my oncologist on a regular basis and monitor my body for any suspicious changes.  Then I go for another set of scans in about 4 months.

So what do I do with this gift of time???  Travel of course!!!

I’m off to Toronto on Saturday…  And now planning trips to visit my family and friends in NYC (a given!), Massachusetts, Nashville, and Vancouver & Bowen Island.  And I’m cramming it all in before my next set of scans.  Gotta do it now while I’m feeling good.  I have no guarantee that this gift I’ve been given (of time, health and life) will continue.  So I must seize the day.

Of course, once you are diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer you are always a stage 4 breast cancer patient.  With us metastatic patients the words “cured” or “in remission” are never used.  Right now it seems my cancer cells are retreating.  Hibernating.  But I know they will not hesitate to go buck-wild again if given the chance.  I cannot get cocky.  I cannot be lazy.  I need to remain vigilant with my new lifestyle.  I cannot let down my guard.

It’s weird…  Even though the news is beyond good…  It almost feels too good to be true.

I know I must continue to use this cancer as a teaching tool.  To see that it has come to awaken something inside me.  To keep me in check.  To be a lifelong partner that forces me to stay true to myself.  To earn each day of my life.  To reevaluate what is important.  To discover and pursue my passions.  To offer me the opportunity to help others.

Hopefully you all can learn some of these lessons without having to be diagnosed with a chronic or terminal illness.

It’s time for all of us to wake up.  Live life.  Change our mindset.  Embrace all the possibilities that lie within us.

And live it up!  Hell yeah!   – T

40 Responses

  1. So very, very excited for your news!! Kick it hard T!!! Enjoy your travels and we hope to be a part of it when u visit Ma!

  2. Hell ya is right! Charlotte and I are so happy for you! We’re raiising a glass to toast to you! This is the best news for you and we are so psyched! Lotsa love charlotte and cheryl

  3. Terri, So happy to hear your news, I’m sitting here with tears and smiles all tangled up together. I don’t know if you remember me but you and your Mom and Dad visited us in Yarmouth, NS shortly before you moved west. I’ve been sending you healing thoughts all winter. This is wonderful news.

  4. So overjoyed for you, there are no words.
    I think you made this happen with your focus and determination and energy.
    Be proud be very proud!!
    See you on Bowen!!!!!!
    Kerry

  5. What amazing,fantastic news! YOU are amazing and fantastic! Hope to see you when you get out to Vancouver and Bowen.
    Hands together – Martha C.

  6. Happy to hear this good news, coming as it does on the heels of my sister-in-law’s mastectomy last week (they caught her cancer very early, thank god). May your health continue to improve!

  7. wonderful !
    wonderous !
    wise
    well
    woman

    Beaming a happy smile – a big grin really – at you and your family today.

    “To be a lifelong partner that forces me to stay true to myself.” Terri Luanna da Silva Frikkin’ amazing quote!

    Travel well and enjoy!

    Love and light, Sam

  8. GLORIOUS NEWS!

    I’d type more, but it’s kinda hard to do it with your toes while dancing on the desktop…

    Much love to you and your whole family —

    John

  9. This is the most amazing thing ever. You are my shinning star. I’m thrilled for you beyond belief. You go girl. Well done. XO. Hugs to you and your beautiful family. Go and celebrate. Love you.

  10. So happy for you, sweetheart! Your words of wisdom are inspirational! When you come to Ma, Trigger and I will be waiting to give Miss M a ride!

  11. Hell yeah is right!! Overjoyed for you. Enjoy your traveling… You deserve it!! Cant’t wait to see you. Love – Moe

  12. i do not know you personally, but have been following your story through maureen. i am beyond words and feeling overwhelming joy for your positive prognosis. after losing my father to stage 4 lung cancer a few years ago, i began doing the avon walk for breast cancer with a group of amazing women who are all touched in some way by this terrible disease. your courage is breathtaking and inspiring and i plan on sharing it with them…so they can walk for you, too!! HELL YEAH, you go girl!!

  13. I already heard about this from Spider, and I’m happy for you beyond belief! And for your family and Marisa, and for Spider. It’s a weight off my mind for sure!
    I hope you will have many more years of health and happiness, Terri.

  14. Dearest Terri,

    Today is a time to take my seat and reflect on the many blessings of your news. Do you hear beings in the ten directions making a collective sigh of reflect and offering a prayer of gratitude? Do you see the clouds smiling? For today, you and the awesome team you have gathered around you see and savour the fruit of your efforts. Yay Terri, Yay Team Terri Luanna.

    More than 15 years ago, Jeanne gave me Sharon Salzberg’s “Lovingkindness–The Revolutionary Art of Happiness”. It’s a well-worn copy that I’ve read and re-read and re-read . . . . The four sacred dwelling places–lovingkindness, compassion, sympathetic joy, equanimity–are indeed revolutionary in terms of the western world-view. In ‘mudita’ there is the recognition that rejoicing in the blessings of another is of unlimited abundance. Or as Spider says more simply, “Shared joys increase”.

    When you are visiting Bowen, you will see on Jeanne’s bookshelf at least one copy of this lovely volume.

    In deep gratitude and love,
    Jess

  15. Whoo hoo!!!! YEAH!!!! So very excited and thankful about the GREAT news!!!! You know that you guys are welcome anytime, so make sure Nashville is on your list!! We love and miss you!!!!!! Will see you all soon!! Love you!!

  16. Words cannot express my happiness for you and your family and loved ones :) Tears of joy were shed for you this morning wayyyy over here in BC :) Ohhh enjoy your travels! What an awesome blessing!

  17. You deserve this wonderful news, Terri! I am thrilled for you and your family.
    Enjoy your travels , and God bless you!

    Sallygigi

  18. Terrific news, Terri, simply terrific! You’ve obviously hid your stride, mentally, physically, and emotionally – and the results show it. Keep it up. Any thoughts of surgery with respect to that one remaining visible tumor? Your oncology team will clearly know best, but from my meagre knowledge of this area, it’s often good to hit the cancer hard with every tool and every approach at your disposal. Remission may not be a word that is used in such contexts, but if you can beat it back to undetectable, you may be pretty darn close! Lots of love!
    Chris & Sheilagh

  19. Oh Terri I cannot express how elated I am for you and your family. My prayers have worked for you and I will not stop praying for you and your family. You are an amazing person, mother, wife and friend to many. Congrats! Have fun on your vacations and I cant wait to see you and give you a HUGE hug!

  20. So, Jamie emailed Molly, she forwarded it to me. I had a good cry on my lunch hour. Went into work and shared the great news with the people I work with who are always asking for progress reports. Was thrilled for you and yours. Make sure we know when you’ll be in MA. HAPPY TRAVELS!!!

  21. Wonderful, wonderful news.

    BTW: It’s “normal” – that is, it happens often enough to enough people that it’s certainly not *ab*normal – to have a bit of fear, a bit of “too good to be true” nervousness. Don’t let it shake you :-).

  22. I wish I could say something wonderfully profound, but the only word that’s in my head at the moment is: “Yipppppeeeeeee!!!!!”
    Love love love to you and Heron and Marisa.

  23. Terri, Minicon, a Science Fiction Convention held in Minneapolis, Mn found out about the benefit to help raise money to fight your cancer. At the convention held April 6,7,8 this year we raffled off a poster, our Artist Guest of Honor, Frank Wu, and his wife Brianna Wu both donated a piece to be auctioned along with a few signed Minicon memorabilia. Please email me to let me know how we can get the donation to your fund.
    We were all so glad to hear your latest news on your health and breathed a collective sigh for you and your family.

  24. Hi Terri!

    I’ve meaning to visit your site for a long time, and I can hardly expresse my pleasure and relief to be greeted with such a very hopeful-sounding post upon my arrival!

    I’m just another fan of your parents, I guess. They taught me how to be a good person. They taught me how to love myself. You know how it is. I used to imagine that I was you, in fact. In high school, I did. I’m almost exactly your same age and I had kind of a hectic upbringing…

    But you don’t have time to hear my life story. Three things:

    One thing is that my lifelong soulmate merged with the Force about the same time as your mother, and I recently had a cancer scare myself. (Yeah yeah, thats two things) Which is not to say that I think that I have the first clue what you’re going through. But there it is for what it’s worth.

    I made this video about a month after my partner died. I shared it with your dad (he was very gracious in his reply) and now I’m going to share it with you also because it’s the only thing that I’ve got.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0GOpZQYf88

    The second thing is that I know a good Ayahuasca guy near you and I’d be honored to hook you up if that’s something that you might be interested in. Backstory: I was recently helping to facilitate a flow arts workshop/superhero activation in Costs Rica and on the last night there was the most insane phosphorescent tide that even any of the locals had ever seen. I was really high and I swam way out past the waves and the sky was all velvety black with billions of stars and my skin was covered with thousands of tiny lights, so naturally my thoughts turned to your family and I sent you all some love and best wishfulness and I asked my best friend to watch over you (not that I believe in that). Anyway, just then it occurred to me that I aught to write to you about the ayahuasca thing. It was a kind of miraculous part of my own healing journey, and it’s can also be an effective treatment for end-of-life anxiety issues. http://www.erowid.org/chemicals/ayahuasca/ayahuasca.shtml

    Thing three is that you are to consider me to be at your service. Please believe that I intend this most formally and that I would be truly and profoundly grateful to perform you any service that is within my power. I owe your folks my sanity, if not my life. And I need your dad to be okay so that he can keep doing what he does and he says that the best thing that we can do for him is to help you.

    So yeah. Anyway. I’m pleased to make your acquaintance and I’m marvelously glad to hear that you’ve been feeling better.

    May you rise up to meet your Road

    -love- @~~~~8~~~>

    Jessica

  25. That’s amazing news Terri! Sorry I missed you in Toronto – I was doing travels of my own. I hope you had a fantastic time! Celebrate this amazing news!!!! Love and light, Lena

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