I celebrated my ten-year survival this year but have no feeling of hubris or complacency. I will continue to take the advice of my wonderful oncologist and I will keep reading all the Google Alerts and news stories I think are relevant to me. Like many if not most other survivors, I hope that when I die, it will be of something else. And I hope that when that day comes, as it will for all of us, I will be remembered as a person unusually lucky in her family and her friends.
Spare a thought for all those who work in oncology. Both of the oncologists who have treated me are remarkable men, I have not named them out of a desire to protect their privacy. They have treated me gently, tolerated my more outlandish questions, and the first one undoubtedly saved my life by refusing to follow existing protocol and contacting colleagues at the marvelous Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota to discuss why I was only the second woman in his thirty-year practice to return a certain test result. Answer: The existing standard was not accurate, and years later, was modified. My Australian oncologist monitors me with great care and honesty and even laughs at my jokes. I can't imagine the nerves of steel the health care workers in this field must have. God bless and keep them.
To all who have commented on this blog, privately or publicly, many thanks. The biggest thank-you is reserved for my beautiful niece, Jess Buhman, a gifted artist whose talent is exceeded only by her compassion for others. Without her there would not have been a blog.
Those who know me even slightly know how fond I am of having the last word, so here it is.