Cancer Updates 2022

Well, all is not quiet on the Li Fraumeni Front. Nevertheless we are enjoying the Thanksgiving season and our hearts are full of gratitude.

I am typing from my usual spot here in the surgical waiting area of the Huntsman Cancer Institute. Today Mark is the patient – his surgeon just came to tell me that all has gone well. He was diagnosed last month with kidney cancer and this morning he lost a portion of his right kidney.

Are we grateful – so very grateful! We are grateful for our yearly MRI screenings which have caught this cancer at a very early stage. The surgeon said he felt that it had grown a bit since the imaging in September – and we know it had just appeared this year – so it is likely more aggressive than we would like… but it is gone! Gone to the lab and out of his body and the only follow up care should be continued screenings. So much to be grateful for!

Last month brought us more good news. Our child who had been on chemotherapy for three years was told in 2021 that the drugs could be discontinued and a year later there is still no evidence of disease! I guess they can never say that stage 4 cancer is cured, but No Evidence of Disease is the next best thing. The initial prognosis had been chemotherapy for life and we are so grateful as we enjoy the new prognosis of …life!

Two other children have undergone screening this year. One was called back for two additional MRIs, but we haven’t heard anything terrible from those… I think we are still in the “watch closely” stage. The other was given the “see you next year” message that we love. And our final screenings are next month.

I am pretty sure that Mark has been very quiet about this cancer. Not so much for privacy (his wife writes a blog with cancer updates) as much as for not being very worried (and being very busy at work.) Most people know my policy of don’t worry until I know there is something to worry about. We scarcely spoke of it until we drove to the hospital this morning – and now as I hear the good news I feel the pent-up worry dissipate. Of course it can’t help but hover in the back of my mind. It is, however, completely dwarfed by the gratitude that fills my entire self. We are so blessed!!

Staying busy and not thinking about surgery – we filled these plates with homemade goodies to share with friends and neighbors and delivered them last night. It seems fitting to celebrate the Thanksgiving Season with more than just a turkey dinner and acknowledge the abundant blessings in our life!

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