a winter landscape and a spring landscape connected by a bridge

Spring Is Coming

A cancer diagnosis feels like a bleak winter. My diagnosis came just after my 44th birthday at the end of the summer. I had my biopsy, and the diagnosis came a few days later. I waited impatiently for the results. The knowledge that I had cancer was daunting. I felt fearful. I know that I am lucky that it was considered curative, but it is not an easy road to be cured. There are risks along the way. I had doctors appointments, tests and final chemotherapy treatment through the fall.

Chemo hibernation

As the leaves turned and the cold temperatures came, I was inside my house or visiting the cancer center. My children started their new school year. I started something new too, chemo. The cumulative effects of chemo took their toll on my appearance. I was a cancer patient, and I looked the part. My body was broken down to fight cancer. My immune system compromised. I hibernated for the fall and into the winter.

I finished my chemo in time for the holidays. I had time off to recover before beginning radiation treatment. The idle time waiting for the scan results overwhelmed me. I wanted to be hopeful, but I was still fearful. I wanted to celebrate the milestone, but the scan was looming. When I finally received my scan and the words “complete remission” were spoken, I could breathe.

Complete remission and new beginnings

It was the dead of winter, and I had seen a glimpse of the sun. The success of chemo meant that my radiation treatment would be less. I prepared myself for the final phase of radiation. I still held myself in reserve. I knew the cancer was gone, but I didn’t feel well. The chemo effects were still ravaging me. The winter days meant daily visits to the radiation room wearing my claustrophobic mask. My throat tightened painfully and my skin inflamed during my treatment. I met others during my visits who were fighting their own battles. I could only imagine the pain others endure for days on end with higher doses and longer cycles. We shared the journey and our experiences with each other. I appreciated my course comparatively. I felt so relieved when that too was finished.

Now as the spring is just around the corner, I see the sun peeking out of the clouds. We are having some cold days and some beautiful ones. I too have days I feel well, and days I feel exhausted as I slowly return to my life. While I heal and move forward as a cancer survivor, I am grateful for the good and bad days. I will worry over the scans and blood tests that will come, but in the meantime, I will let hope blossom. The spring is coming, and I could not be more thankful for the beauty of new beginnings.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Blood-Cancer.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


View Comments (9)
  • Ann Harper moderator
    14 hours ago

    That’s wonderful that you are done. Spring is the time of rebirth so it’s time for the new cancer free you to emerge! Good luck to you.

  • Crystal Harper moderator
    2 days ago

    Love your analogy of the changing seasons and congrats on your remission!

  • Ann Harper moderator
    14 hours ago

    I did too.

  • Daniel Malito moderator
    1 week ago

    @amber-lynch In the exact same situation.. By summer I expect to be looking the best I have in a long while, which has taken work since last September – a lot of hard work and positive attitude. New beginnings are truly that – the beginning of new things. Keep on keepin’ on, DPM

  • Ann Harper moderator
    14 hours ago

    Good for you. The summer will be your new beginning!

  • Yolanda Brunson-Sarrabo moderator
    1 week ago

    Amber, yes let that hope blossom. I too have succeeded with remission, yet, it’s always in the back of my mind of “re-occurrence”. However, I keep it all the way back there, so I can live in the moment now. Cheers, for the beauty in new beginnings!

  • bluchs
    1 week ago

    Wow, Your story is all inspiring.
    I am happy you made it through all of this.
    I guess for the most part, I would respond.
    DIDO, except, my remission only lasted 10 months.
    Cancer returned with a vengeance, I am now terminal.
    I actually find out in 2 days, if I will need a stem-cell transplant or not?
    I am Praying Not??
    But, one thing is for sure, chemo and radiation, do ravage your body.
    And even those who are able to find remission, are never really cancer free.
    I still have hope, perhaps, I too will find the beauty of new beginnings one day as well.
    God Bless You Amber

  • Ann Harper moderator
    14 hours ago

    You have to have hope and faith. I wish you luck on your journey and will day a prayer for you

  • Bob McEachern
    1 week ago

    Well said, Amber!

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