Kaity Kasper

Blog

November

“He doesn’t need to see you.  Just call him in a few days and he can give you the results over the phone.”

You would think by now there would be a way to get the results of bloodwork in the same day, but oftentimes its not.  So while we did the actual 2-months-turned-to-3-months-post-chemotherapy bloodwork today, I won’t get any news for a bit.  While this is frustrating, I’m actually okay with it.  I have just about zero doubt that my CA125 hasn’t risen at all, and I’m equally confident that its gone down some since my exit numbers for the clinical trial. 

But there is that tiny less than one percent of fear lurking there, and I’ll admit that it reminds me that you can never really know.  But what can we ever really know for sure?

Nothing.

I’m here to promise you that.

*   *   *

“Honestly, I’m not even sure why you’re here,” he said from the grey plastic chair that sat opposite the exam table.  “As far as I can tell, you are absolutely fine.”  It was only our second time together and I knew he was right.  I was absolutely fine.

It was August.

Know what will make your head spin, guaranteed?  Going from being told you have incurable cancer to being told that you don’t have cancer at all in under ten days.  I mean – I knew it was gone.  I knew it well before we even finished that awful chemotherapy.  But that whole incurable conversation kind of threw me into a spin for a bit there. 

So every now and again, I have to stop to rearrange my head back around the fact that Dr. Jones agrees with me.    

In the three months since we’ve seen each other, I’ve only gotten more fine.  As far as I can tell, anything physical going on with me is related to either menopause or the ongoing side-effects from my chemo regimen.  Some people have asked me how I can be so sure.  While I’ve never been through menopause before, I’ve happened upon a few older female confidants who have been there and confirm that much of what I’m experiencing is in line with their experiences too.  And as for the chemo-related stuff, well, its not my first time at that rodeo.  The brain fog and the complete and utter inability of my body to regulate its temperature are things I’ve experienced before and at some point I know they will level out. 

Patience and all that.

*   *   *

I get completely overwhelmed by the autumn this year.  I remember – clear as if it happened an hour ago – the sob-wracked conversation I had with a girlfriend less than two weeks after my surgery.  After I knew enough to know that I would be doing a good bit of chemotherapy but before I understood at all what God was doing by dropping me into this deep, dark pit.  Through thick tears I uttered to her “I don’t know how I can ever make it to July.  Its too far away.  I don’t see a way to get there.”

It is now November. 

Most evenings during our walks I find myself standing still in the middle of the street – Hope sitting quietly next to me.  We take in the leaves, the stars, the crisp air, and the soft crunching of squirrels finishing their winter preparations.  I stand there and I remember how sure I was that this time would never come.  How fall seemed to be a thing of make-believe lands or a season gifted to the extraordinarily fortunate.  I remember how it seemed I was stuck in something of an endless summer.  And not the good kind. 

It is now November.

It is now November and there are holiday lights up.  My favorite thing in the world has always been holiday lights.  There was a period there that I didn’t think I would have another chance to roam RVA under their glow.  Yet here we are.

It is now November.

In March I didn’t think I would live to see November.

But what can we ever really know for sure?

Nothing.

*   *   *

This week has been unusual in its normalcy.  I was asked to fill in to speak at a conference and had nearly forgotten how much I like to teach.  At the end of my session today, I was approached about doing the same at a meeting next October and without even questioning it I agreed. 

I allowed myself the assumption that I would be here and healthy in eleven months.

As I walked out of the hotel and stepped into the sun, I couldn't help but tear up in shear joy of simply being alive and in love with my days.  Even the ones that aren't the easiest. 

*   *   *

Stay tuned to Facebook and the Insta for updates on my numbers when I get them.  I don't think I am being overly confident when I tell you I'm not going to lose any sleep over them.  I feel good about what they will show us.

But even if they aren't what we want, I feel good.  And that is the most important thing.  To take each good day as it comes.  To infuse it with as much magic as possible.  To never forget the extreme gift that comes just from opening my eyes during a month I never thought I would see.

The truth is, no matter what the numbers show - whether they are good or seemingly bad - there is never a way to know if we will live to see November.

Because what can we ever know for sure?

Nothing.