A couple years ago, on Feb 25, 2016, Connie and I arose in the early 4am hour and proceeded to drive to Ann Arbor in cold, darkness, during a terrible snow storm. We made it there and I received my last Erbitux treatment (read the post). Fast forward to today and it’s been two years without any treatments. And three years with no evidence of disease.
Today we left at 8:30 AM heading to Ann Arbor for an appointment with Dr. Krauss (pictured with me in this post). We were looking forard to discussing scan and blood test results and next steps.
In stark contrast to two years ago today was sunny, warm, no snow, and no rain!
The results of these latest round of tests have once again fulfilled our hopes and prayers. The CEA blood test continues to stay under 1.0 (indicating no cancer activity) and the scan results (lungs/chest and abdomen) show no signs of metastasis. Dr. Krauss also reported that I will move to a six month surveillance cadence and he is going to schedule removal of my port as well.
It is so hard to believe where my battle is today. Beyond my wildest expectations, I have landed in the best possible place. I am truly Blessed and grateful beyond expression.
Of course we thank God for this glorious news. And we also thank the many people that God works though every day, helping many cancer patients all over the world. We especially thank Dr. Krauss and the University of Michigan Health Care team. They were most awesome for us and we are forever in debt to them for their dedication and excellence.
In discussion with Dr. Krauss today he pointed out that over his career there have been substantial gains in cancer survival rates overall, citing a study posted on axios.com. The chart from this study is included below. Colon cancer has seen an increase in the five year survival rate from 49.8% in 1970s to 66.2% today. Most cancers have seen significant increases in the five year survival rate.
While we all would love to see cancer eradicated entirely, it is very important to recognize the significant gains that our medical field has made in a rather short period of time. This is especially awesome news to someone newly diagnosed with cancer. There is definitely hope! And even hope for being cured from Stage IV colon cancer.
It is very important to point out that YOU have a role in making sure these gains continue. Eat healthy, exercise, quit smoking, and do what you can do to reduce your risk of cancer. Additionally, if you have symptoms YOU need to seek out medical attention sooner rather than later. Do not ignore symptoms. The earlier a diagnosis is made, the better odds of being cured!
Please pray this prayer of thanksgiving with me…
Thank you Jesus for the additional time you have granted me on this beautiful earth. Thank you for the wonderful medical care that you have brought into my life. Thank you for allowing me to hold two new beautiful grand babies this past year. Bless all those helping to make such great progress in the care and treatment for all cancers and help them to accomplish break-through improvements in the upcoming months and years! And guide me in using my time wisely; in service to my family, friends, colleagues, and fellow mankind.
Today is the day the Lord has made; Let us be glad and rejoice in it! Psalm 118:24