We went to the appointment with the oncologist today not knowing what to expect. First Mike had a blood draw, which shows that he is no longer anemic, but his iron is still a bit low. For the next couple of months he'll need to stay on the iron pills, but only has to take one a day. So, good news there.
Then we get the news we came for. The tumor board as a group came to the conclusion that Mike will not have chemo. They are sticking with the Stage 1 diagnosis, which indicates only more frequent screenings rather than anything more invasive after surgery. However, he did not want the port taken out at this time as he would rather wait until after the next colonoscopy and the results of genetic testing if Mike goes through with that.
We left the office with no new information, yet somehow I feel more settled about it now. Maybe it's because I know a team of professionals went over Mike's case and came to their most educated decision. Maybe because it's been three weeks since the last appointment with the oncologist and I had that time to get used to the idea that we have to trust the lab results and the process. Or, more likely, I just NEED to be more settled about it. Fear can be paralyzing, but so can uncertainty to an extent. I don't want to live day to day wondering if there are still cancer cells in Mike's body. I can't live that way.
While Mike's health at this time is better than it has been in months and we are incredibly fortunate that Mike's civilian job has benefits that covered medical bills and paid time off. However, we also count on monthly income from the Air Force. While Mike is unable to physically work on base, he will be able to do some correspondance from home. That will help make up some of the difference. It's a difficult balance. Maybe vacation last week seems like a luxury we can't afford, but there is also a need for normalcy and feeling like a family that didn't have cancer invade their lives two months ago.