I killed it. It’s gone. I’m cancer free.
I’ve been crying a lot. All the dread and stress and panic I didn’t allow myself to truly feel are coming out fast and furious via my tear ducts. It feels like I was holding my breath for 6 months. Like I was locked away in a cell where I didn’t know if I’d see the sun again. And now I’ve been released with my whole life ahead of me. It’s such a beautifully pure feeling that I wish I could bottle up so I never forget how fragile every single day is. I worry I’ll need that sooner than I’d like. I worry about adjusting to life after cancer.
Zach and I were at the doctor’s office for almost two hours on June 12th – almost six months to the date since I found out I had lymphoma. My oncologist ran through my PET scan results, told me I’ll have another one in December, and that we’ll have a standing date every 3 months for a checkup. He was also extremely candid about the possibility of relapsing, which is not what you want to hear in what is supposed to be the happiest appointment you could ever have at an oncologist’s office. He told me the first two years after treatment will be the most worrisome and the likelihood of it happening after that plummets dramatically. But he doesn’t like talking statistics because “if it happens to you then it’s 100%.” Yup. Sure is, bud.
It wasn’t until I got into my car and started making my calls and telling everyone that it really hit me. All the bullshit was really over. And I just couldn’t contain my tears. It felt so liberating and weight defying. I hadn’t allowed myself to really think about what this day would mean and how I’d feel once it arrived. I was on such a high – Zach even turned to me later that night and said, “This is really like the first day of the rest of your life.” Don’t roll your eyes…it’s truly how I feel. Stay with me here – cliches actually hit me in the gut now. Yes, I’m that girl. Clichlay-it-on-me. Anyway, in that profound moment I just fell in love with him again (this happens often these days). He gets it. He gets me. He sees me. Man, he’s a freaking treasure chest that has no bottom.
So yeah, things are clearer now on a medical aspect and I refuse to believe I can or will relapse. That shit is for Future Sofia to worry about. The biggest lesson cancer taught me was that if I’m not present, I’m not truly living. As a producer, I plan things. You always have a plan A, B, C, and D. And it’s hard for that not to bleed into your personal life. I planned everything. I was always looking forward to something. But I wasn’t ever in the moment. Because once that thing I planned was happening, I was worried about the next thing. And on it went. There was no room for spontaneity or for life to really show you what it can be. So now my brain is under construction until my natural state is my current state. No five-year plans. No ten-year plans. Just right now plans.
Back to this cancer-free business. You may be wondering why I haven’t been shouting this from the rooftops. Well, the first few days were really emotional for me and I told people I was close with, people who had been on this shitty bus ride with me directly. I was in my feelings and wanted to process it all. Go to therapy, get back to exercising, be present in my experience.
Then I went to my dermatologist for a checkup. And almost immediately I was gasping for air…again.
She found a mole she didn’t like. It was too dark, oddly shaped, looked new. “We should biopsy it,” she said in a matter-of-fact tone. Really? Are we doing this again? Is this what happens now? Every doctor is going to think everything is cancer because unlike lighting, it can and does strike twice? So she sliced the weird shaped, dark mole off my upper thigh. And I waited. This morning I finally got word that the mole was normal.
BIG BREATHE IN. AND EXHALE.