Great Big Fat Good News About Cancer
Monday, 22 January 2018
At first, I wrote this post with a long and winding introduction to the news – this great big fat good news - but that doesn't seem fair so I'm redoing it and adding what had been intro material as an addendum below. Here is the news:
On Friday, my Whipple Procedure surgeon said that the many tests given during my hospital stay 10 days ago showed – and I quote - “no current evidence of cancer”.
Just for fun, let's repeat that: no current evidence of cancer. Isn't that amazing.
One of the surgeon's nurses who I've come to know a bit relayed his statement to me via phone message and added, “so go celebrate.”
I started with a good cry. When I tapped the phone off, the tears just flowed on their own. There turns out to be a nice symmetry too: the day after this overwhelming and unexpected news was given to me – that is, 20 January – was the seven-month anniversary of the Whipple surgery last June.
This definitely is a grace – defined by Christians as an unearned, unmerited, undeserved favor from god. If like me, god is a tricky concept for you, think of it as the same kind of gift but from the universe.
It is a grace because it's a big deal and I certainly did nothing to cause it. The doctors and nurses and other healthcare people at OHSU did all the work – the surgery, help with recovery, chemotherapy, hand-holding, question answering, etc.
All I did was follow their instructions to the best of my ability.
And then there are all of you – the wonderful TGB readers who every day have left encouraging notes, stories, prayers and thoughts. Can anyone prove they don't work? I can't, and they helped keep me going especially on the most difficult days.
Friends and neighbors belong on this list too – the people who have served as chauffeurs to and from the doctors, shoppers before I could drive again after the surgery, cat care when I couldn't bend to clean the litter box, among so much more including unending moral support.
Thank you seems too puny but it is deeply heartfelt.
Even with this great good news, however, there is more medical stuff to come. As I mentioned last Monday, I have a small, internal bleed that, if it does not heal on its own, will require surgery which will be extensive enough to result in a recovery period almost as difficult as the Whipple. What helps make it tolerable for me is that it is a mechanical problem – sort of a loose connection – unrelated to pancreatic cancer.
The decision about the surgery will be made in early February.
Unfortunately, I can't just relegate this bout of cancer to a minor interruption in life and get on with everything else. Tests will be needed every few months for as long as I live to check for any recurrence or new cancer. Too bad about that but after these past seven months, I'm pretty sure I can manage it without too much anxiety.
As the old song says, “whatever will be, will be,” but for today, let's imagine I've shipped off a bottle of champagne to every one of you and together let's toast the universe, its occasional gifts and my incredible, great, good luck.
Thank you all so much for helping me through this ordeal. You are the best.
I think I'll go with karma; what goes round has come round. Congratulations! I and your other friends you'll never meet are truly happy for you.
Posted by: Cam | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 05:42 AM
What wonderful news to wake up to this morning! Hurray to all your healthcare professionals and friends there to help in all ways when needed. Keep up the diligent work of managing your new world and the forward roll!
Posted by: Norma | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 05:49 AM
Such wonderful, happy news! Indeed a gift of grace.
Posted by: Olga | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 05:50 AM
I can’t think of a better way to start my Monday morning! This is AMAZING news! I look forward to celebrating with you! Love, Kirsten
Posted by: Kirsten Jacobs | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 06:03 AM
Soak up this news. Smile til it hurts. Hug Crabby and the kat. Cry, dance a jig, and sleep extra well from now on.
Congratulations, Ronni, with a whoop and a holler from California.
Posted by: Simone | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 06:08 AM
I'm so happy for you and it's also great news for me and all your blog friends. Yes, do celebrate!
Posted by: Joyce | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 06:13 AM
Good new! Angels on you!
May I add...you earned & deserve this gift from the universe, which you are accepting gracefully.
Now, continue to:
Posted by: Linda C | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 06:14 AM
What wonderful news!! I am so happy for you!!
Posted by: Florence | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 06:43 AM
Wow! Happy, happy Monday!
Posted by: Kathleen Noble | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 06:47 AM
I am so glad for your news, it is wonderful. I enjoy your blog so much but when you were diagnosed I was afraid to read it each day. I was worried about you. I celebrate with you.
Posted by: Gail Mahoney | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 07:05 AM
Fantastic news Ronni! I want to cry myself. Happy days!
Posted by: Linda (in Maryland) | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 07:06 AM
I am so glad to read this. I didn't realize how much reading this would mean to me until I felt tears in my eyes. Happy rest of your life!
Posted by: Bonnie Ringen | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 07:20 AM
The grace with which you have handled this devastation has been remarkable. You deserve your outcome more than most. Congratulations. You are a shining example of the wonder of the human spirit. Thank you.
Posted by: Jayne Andrews | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 07:27 AM
Wonderful news. So happy for you.
Posted by: Virginia | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 07:41 AM
Absolutely excellent news. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy.
Posted by: Lisa | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 07:42 AM
Such wonderful news, some of us believe in God's grace and our prayers went to him I'm sure, but whatever, you celebrate.
Posted by: Bonnie | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 07:46 AM
I am actually speechless with surprised happiness! What a fine way to start a Monday. I echo everybody else's congratulations -- and want once again to express my enormous admiration for you and the way you have handled all of this. I think of you, diligently keeping track of meds and the many instructions you have had put upon you and the ways in which you have shared so much with us. I think of your enormous honesty and frankness about it all. I think gratefully about all that I have learned from you through this experience that so many of us have been witness to.
But most of all I just want to cheer and toss flowers in your direction -- and realize that my usual Eeyore temperament has shrunk in the presence of all this wonderful news.
wow. enjoy this day. enjoy many, many, many more such days of joy. whee!
Posted by: Ruth-Ellen B. Joeres | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 07:47 AM
Posted by: Scotti | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 07:47 AM
That is wonderful news! Thank you for lightening my day...all the best for continued good news!
Posted by: Toni Tadolini | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 07:48 AM
You're not the only one celebrating. There's a cat I know who is thankful he won't have to train a new handmaiden. And speaking of celebrating, chocolate covered strawberries and champagne at lunch sounds like a plan to me. And if that sounds familiar, it should. All my love.
Posted by: John Brandt | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 07:49 AM
Great news. Very glad of the outcome.
Please do not sell yourself short. You may have had wonderful health care and providers but you did the "real work" here.
You did what you were told to do. That is no small thing. So celebrate you perseverance and your strength to do it.
Here's to hoping the "leak" will self heal.
Posted by: Bob | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 07:52 AM
This is such good news. Your doctors, your hard work and your friends. Yes, celebrate all!
Posted by: Susan | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 07:53 AM
Wonderful news, Ronni. Enjoy your celebration, we'll be right there with you (and Ollie). Here's to you!
Posted by: Marge | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 07:55 AM
Wonderful news! And really if wet are conscious wee all live with the possibility that our time is limited perhaps more than w assume. Enjoy!
Posted by: Meg Manderson | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 07:56 AM
So very happy for you, Ronni. Onwards.
Posted by: Mary Evans Young | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 07:56 AM
I am teary with happiness for you.
Posted by: Rosemary Woodel | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 07:56 AM
Wow. Just wow. I am so happy for you!!!
Posted by: Patty-in-New-York | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 07:57 AM
Chills, tears, relief and JOY! Another gift we have from knowing you, Ronni. Have a wonderful day!!
Posted by: Loha Marne | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 07:58 AM
Congrats, Ronni. You played a big role as well, beyond following the rules. You held it together, you kept writing, you helped others through sharing your life.
Posted by: jane d | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 07:59 AM
So VERY, VERY grateful. Go with the flow of relief and joy today ... and may the fact that good news CAN STILL HAPPEN help you as you face your next round of "fun and games".
Posted by: laura | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 08:01 AM
I cried! Tears of relief from fear. So wonderful to hear this news! Ronni, YOU are the best!
A great way to start the day!
Posted by: Judy Jones | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 08:01 AM
SO happy to receive this news this morning.
Posted by: Antonia Albany | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 08:09 AM
Well! Huzzah to the universe and whatever is beyond our ken. And don't sell yourself short. You had a lot to do with this outcome. Congratulations. 🎉😘
Posted by: Janet Lewis | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 08:11 AM
Oh congratulations! Isn't that the best phrase ever!?!
Posted by: Jim Cotter | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 08:12 AM
All of us are happier today!
We all have more hope
Posted by: Beatriz Redko | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 08:12 AM
Alleluia! A heck of a great way for me to kick off my week. So coming from the East Coast in Maine, congrats and hugs and every other good thing you can think of. Welcome to the world of survivors. Great job managing your journey. Thank you for all of your sharing. Hugs and luv!
Posted by: Regina | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 08:18 AM
Wonderful, wonderful news! Lovely Monday morning gift. I am so happy for you, thrilled. Many hugs.
Posted by: Celia | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 08:18 AM
Ronni, respect for you keeping a steady drive on yiur last seven months of treatment.
Those months are in your rear view mirror. Whatever happens next, you can handle it. Track record so far us 10/10
It's heartening to know your health workers are excellent.
You are one cool woman!
Posted by: doctafill | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 08:24 AM
Tears of joy for you here, too!
Posted by: Ali | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 08:24 AM
What wonderful news! I am so happy to hear this. You have done your part, Ronni, by following doctors’ orders. This is a great mikestone in your recovery.
Posted by: Sulibran | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 08:27 AM
Posted by: terry | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 08:32 AM
Goosebumps and tears of happiness! Cheers to you and to every moment, every minute, every day, month, and year ahead of us. May we all be thankful and make the best of them.
My very best and dearest thoughts,
Posted by: Carol | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 08:33 AM
What fabulous news. I survived advanced stage ovarian cancer -- diagnosis was 18 years ago! Cancer sucks, but good outcomes happen no matter what kind, what stage. Here's to you!
Posted by: Donna | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 08:34 AM
Ronnie, Thank you so much for making our Monday with this overwhelmingly joyous news. Your communication skills have taken us on this path with you and beside you and now, such a sense of relief and I know I feel lighter and am sure everyone else does, too. Savor every second. Champagne, wine, chocolate, cheesecake, whatever your pleasure. Dive right in, Girl!!
You are dear to us and in all of our hearts,
Posted by: karin bendel | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 08:37 AM
Oh Ronnie, YES. A big fat YES!
And keep it up, whatever YOU are doing. I'm sending love and more. Marian
Posted by: Marian Methner | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 08:47 AM
Yes, celebrate that fabulous news. Do a dance of joy. Sing at the top of your lungs. Enjoy such a wonderful feeling.
Posted by: dkzody | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 08:47 AM
What wonderful news! I hope you're floating on this cloud for a long, long time, and that little mechanical issue resolves itself without surgery. Life is beautiful!
Posted by: Cathy | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 08:50 AM
Fantastic news, Ronni! Go celebrate, big time! I'm thrilled for you!
Sending love & happiness, Helen
Posted by: Helen Horwitz | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 08:51 AM
And thank you for sharing. You have enriched all our lives.
Posted by: Priscilla | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 08:51 AM
What great news! I'm enjoying the champagne with you too.
Posted by: Jan Heigh | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 08:52 AM
Congratulations. Bravo and hurrah for the good news.
Posted by: Mage Bailey | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 08:53 AM
So, so HAPPY for you! What great news. (((((Hugs)))) And wishes for continued wonderful progress!!
Posted by: Cara | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 08:56 AM
Wow!!!! What wonderful news. I am very happy for you, my dear. And continued good luck.
Posted by: Peter Smith | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 08:56 AM
Posted by: Mary | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 08:59 AM
Wow! Wonderful! Fantastic! So very happy for you.
Posted by: Rebecca | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 09:00 AM
That is wonderful news!!!!
Posted by: Beverly Dixon | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 09:00 AM
Heartfelt congratulations! Bouquets of love to you and your wonderful hospital crew!
Posted by: Lola | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 09:04 AM
What wonderful news!!!!! Just made my day :-)
Posted by: Ursula | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 09:06 AM
Dear Ronni, So so glad! I join all in rejoicing at the good news. It may still be winter but spring - with its message of hope and renewal - is coming early for us this year. Deepest thanks for letting us share your journey these past months. We are wiser, kinder, better for having you in our lives. Love, Ann
Posted by: Ann Burack-Weissmuller c | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 09:06 AM
Posted by: Mary McCarthy | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 09:06 AM
WOW!!! Best news possible. I can see the joy from your community in all the posts here, and I'll just add my own happiness for you. Well done Ronni and the team. Breathe deeply of the love we all send you.
Posted by: Lola Sorensen | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 09:08 AM
Wonderful news! The staff at the hospital did their job and you did yours! And what a job you had and have, taking all those meds at different times, eating often etc. etc. etc. That was a big responsibility on your part - and you did it - no easy task!
Celebrate with whatever makes you happy - chocolate, wine, cheese, ice cream, singing and dancing!
I drink to your courage today, tomorrow and every day!
Posted by: ` | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 09:08 AM
Posted by: Kate Gilpin | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 09:11 AM
I have prayed for you nearly every day since you announced the cancer (as i do for three other cancer victims - one now in remission from brain and lung cancer) & when I read this news, I immediately prayed thanks to God & Jesus. Going forward, I'll continue to pray for remission for you as I do for my neighbor and one of my sons who has a chronic illness in remission. Of course it is your health care givers, etc who have effected this, along with your own efforts, but I strongly believe that prayer brings results based on empirical evidence I've seen over the years - best wishes going forward!
Posted by: John Lefevere | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 09:11 AM
Posted by: Jackie | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 09:12 AM
Fantastic news! Celebrate your good health for you have accomplished much in a loving and understanding way that has impacted so many of us readers!!!
Posted by: Gen C. | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 09:12 AM
Wow! Just Wowee Zowee and Hurray for YOU!
Posted by: Colleen | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 09:20 AM
Congratulations Ronni, may the universe continue to bless you!
Posted by: Julie B | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 09:21 AM
Wonderful, fantastic news! God is good! What a gift you have been given! Keep on keeping on!
Posted by: Toni Lacentra | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 09:23 AM
Such good news. Many share your happiness today. And we also are grateful for your telling us your experience with cancer; it will be a helpful model for those of us who will someday have to deal with some of the same problems.
Posted by: Lynne Waldeland | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 09:24 AM
I am so very happy for you, Ronni. I have been hoping for this from the first news about your cancer. You handled this crisis so beautifully and admirably that you have become the inspiration of all on how to go through a very bad time. A happy ending is well deserved.
Tears of joy all around with Dom Perignon to follow. (nothing but the best for the best lady I know). And I hope for more good news on that pesky bleed.
Posted by: Darlene | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 09:25 AM
Who needs champagne, with news like that one can get drunk on the elation!
So glad to hear your news and hope for no need of intervention of the bleed situation. HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Posted by: S C Jones | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 09:30 AM
Woo hoo! So happy to hear your news. I think you can take much credit for your prognosis.
Posted by: Gerrie Congdon | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 09:30 AM
That is GREAT news. I am so happy for you. After my own wife passed away from cancer 5 years ago, I had kind of lost some faith in how much medicine could do to really help us. This has restored some of that faith for me. I am really happy about this fantastic news you’ve gotten.
Posted by: Jim Smith | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 09:35 AM
HOORAY! The plan was set by the professionals, but YOU had to do it. We applaud your strength, courage & also keeping us informed. All of us have learned a lot. We are thrilled!! You are an amazing woman!
Posted by: Ann Stock | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 09:35 AM
I'm so happy for you.
You've been an inspiration.
Champagne and Cheers.
Posted by: Estelle D | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 09:40 AM
Wonderful news, Ronni. We're both so lucky to have had access to great health care when we most needed it. May your recovery continue with few or no hiccups. Cheers!
Posted by: Susan R (PiedType) | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 09:49 AM
Yeah! You go, girl!
Posted by: Janet Spiegel | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 10:01 AM
Such good news!
Posted by: Nan | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 10:02 AM
The BEST of news!
Posted by: Perspective | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 10:02 AM
Posted by: Nancy Laird | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 10:10 AM
Wonderful news Ronni!! Onward and upward!!
Posted by: Donna | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 10:12 AM
Posted by: Anne | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 10:14 AM
Such wonderful news, Ronni. Do something on your bucket list, if you have one. Plan a trip to NYC. I'm going through my bucket list myself. At 69, there is no other time but the present. I just finished my first novel. Anything is possible. So happy for you. I'll keep you in my prayers.
Posted by: joann wallace | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 10:35 AM
Wonderful news! Enjoy and savor and celebrate!
Posted by: Marsha | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 10:35 AM
The sound you hear is me, clapping!!! Great news.
Posted by: Patricia Edie | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 10:38 AM
congratulations. so glad for you. Blessings
Posted by: Susan Pope | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 10:38 AM
Our cups runneth over. So very grateful for such encouraging news.
Posted by: Wendl | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 10:39 AM
WOO HOO and halleleuia, grace and blessing, champagne and chocolate, tears of joy, you are making me want to party!!!! Oh, and flowers falling through the air as we all dance! May this celebratory grace go on and on and on. You showed up, did your part and then some, kept this blog going, and lord knows what else, you deserve a whole lot of praise, Ms. Bennett, and yes, a whole lot of grace.
Posted by: Salinda Dahl | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 10:44 AM
Happy Happy Happy!
Posted by: Linda Smith, FL | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 10:44 AM
I felt such a sense of relief. You have become family!
Posted by: Susan rogers | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 10:50 AM
WHOOPEE < too
Posted by: Gin | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 10:55 AM
What wonderful news, Ronni. So happy for you! May your internal bleeding heal quickly now that chemo is behind you and may every day between check ups be filled with love, happiness and appreciation of every little beautiful bit of life!
Posted by: Yvonne Behrens | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 10:56 AM
Now we truly celebrate Great Big Fat Good HAPPY New Year(s)!!!!
Dizzy with JOY!
Posted by: Midori Barstow | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 11:05 AM
A grace indeed! Your grit and determination is a thing of beauty, even on your low days. I believe your nurses and doctors will miss your company, although happily because you are moving on. . Thank you for sharing this amazing news!
Posted by: Michelle | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 11:10 AM
I can add nothing to what others have already said except my CONGRATULATIONS to YOU, your healthcare team, friends neighbors, etc.--and Ollie the Cat!
This time "it is what it is" actually refers to something good--no, something GREAT!
Posted by: Elizabeth Rogers | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 11:10 AM
What can one say other than how absolutely, mind boggling wonderful! You earned it, Ronni, by doing everything asked of you and no one deserves it more.
Posted by: Mari Meehan | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 11:13 AM
HOORAY!! ROCK ON, RONNI!
Posted by: lizziee | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 11:19 AM
Oh my God, this is the greatest news. I felt it in my bones. I'm having a glass of wine tonight with dinner and toasting to you Ronni. I have never known someone who has been a trooper like you. You earned this!!
Lots of hugs
Posted by: Barbara | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 11:23 AM
Im thrilled for you!!!
Posted by: Judy | Monday, 22 January 2018 at 11:24 AM