Dancing the conga

PET results are in and show complete remission. There are no signs of the Hodge [Hodgkin lymphoma] anywhere. I’m pleased, very pleased. After hearing those words, I didn’t taken in much of what Dr C said. My brain was busy shaking maracas and dancing the conga.

A remission is a temporary end to the medical signs and symptoms of an incurable disease [such as cancer]. A disease is said to be incurable if there is always a chance of the patient relapsing, no matter how long the patient has been in remission… A complete remission is the complete disappearance of all manifestations of disease.  ~Wikipedia

This is the sixth time I’ve heard the words complete remission and the second time I’ve been excited. The first was two months after my diagnosis to check that the ABVD* regime was working. It was and I jigged around my flat in jubilation. In that moment I thought the ordeal might end. After all, they said I had the good kind right? The one with a high cure rate? So I imagined a time when the Hodge would become a hazy memory, a time when I would be fixed. In those early days, I didn’t think of failure or relapse. I was naïvely optimistic.

I was more quietly pleased with the next four complete remissions. By the third PET, I’d wised-up and hoped (rather than believed) that the Hodge would take a nice long nap so I could get on with living. Obviously, that didn’t work and I’ve been on that treatment treadmill ever since.

This time, I am excited – not because it’s over, or even that I get a reprieve. The most difficult and perilous part is still to come. I’m excited because I can enjoy my two weeks annual leave. I’m delighted because it leaves options for those clever professors to discuss. And I’m pleased that I will be fitter and stronger for what comes next. I hope that gives me an edge.

The news is also bittersweet because complete remission is the beginning of the next phase. The phase where I need to dig deep and find strength and courage from that hidden place I’ve yet to discover. It’s time to again turn and confront my fear, the consequences of this horrid disease and its cruel treatments. The price for a chance of a few extra years will be high. There is no point in pretending otherwise.

But I’ll think of that in two weeks. Meanwhile, I plan to have fun. I have chores, treatment and medical appointments to squeeze in but I will do as many of my favourite things and visit as many of my favourite places as I can manage. I want to enjoy this incredible city and these next two weeks in it.

The rest will come soon enough.


*ABVD is a type of chemotherapy used to treat Hodgkin’s lymphoma.  If you want further information on these regimes visit The Hodge information page.



  1. thecoffeebeanbrain

    So happy for you, Dee! It sure does call for a celebration! I’d prepare you a fiesta if you were here, you deserve it! Don’t worry so much about the next phases for now just focus on being happy and get your mind wired on the positive things! It does good for the immune system (and keeps those Awful Bastard Vicious Devil away for good) 😉 Have a great week.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dee

      Thank you Lori. It’s great to have good news to share. Loved your Miss Marjorie Fay post. I have that relationship with words, books & lines I’ve memorised too. I am sitting at home waiting for a delivery that hasn’t turned up on time. “A man of words and not of deeds is like a garden full of weeds” flashed through my mind. And I’m envious of your Norton Anthology book. Thanks for the follow.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. lorigreer

        I love that quote…it is apt for many an hour spent waiting for someone. My Norton anthology is a well-read and long-time companion. It was a gift from a friend years ago. Happy Sunday from Portland!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. karen

    I am so pleased for you. I hardly dared to open this post for what I might find. I am breathing a sigh of relief for you and I hope you have a really lovely, happy fortnight. I am sure that being upbeat has a bearing on everything. So keep smiling and stay positive.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dee

      Thanks Karen. It’s a roller coaster for sure and I will get good news and bad news. Fingers crossed I get more of the former. But, although I have my moments, most of the time I choose to follow the Dalai Lama’s suggestion to “Be optimistic. It feels better.”

      Liked by 1 person

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