Months To Years Fall 2018 Months To Years Fall 2018 - Page 8

what a tumor looks like when it’s dying from the inside out.” “How often does this happen?” I asked. My tumors slowly shrank. “Almost never. You had a less than one percent chance of After three months of weekly chemo, six hours every surviving.” Friday, not including the commute, and a long wait of   three more months, I got a PET scan that showed no cancer for the first time in almost two years! Although he Tanya and I drove home that day in a state of bliss, from Stanford Cancer Center through Palo Alto, across the was pleased, Dr. Colevas warned that he fully expected Dumbarton Bridge, floating just above the surreal water the cancer to return. of the Bay, and up Highway 880 to Berkeley in rush hour traffic. Every once in a while, one of us would say, as if it “Go out and enjoy yourself –– for now,” he ordered, writing were a revelation, “Less than one percent!” a prescription: “Take a bubble bath.”   Now it’s for my annual appointment with Dr. Colevas. He knew I hadn’t been able to do that for months due to Our visits went from once a week to once a month to once the chemo equipment in my arm. It got pulled out with a every three months to once every six months. At this point, whoosh that very day. we meet once a year. This will be our sixth annual visit. Dr. Colevas will wear his signature bowtie; he’ll poke and Despite his prediction that it wasn’t over, I decided I’d prod, find nothing, and then we’ll talk about the books we gotten a miracle.       liked in the last year. I’ll recommend Pachinko and Sing,   Unburied, Sing, which he’ll enter into the Notes section of Many more months later, after multiple monthly check-ins, his iPhone. He’ll recommend something that might be too Dr. Colevas finally agreed. heady for me, but I’ll write it down, just in case. Then we’ll agree to meet again next year. “There’s still no cancer here. I guess you better keep doing what you’ve been doing, because I don’t know what worked. If you’ve been standing on your head every day, you better keep doing it. And now you have to take care of your long-term health.”   Martina Reaves is a retired mediator and a happily non-retired writer. She’s been interested in writing all her life, and since she became serious about it in 2007, she’s been obsessed. At the moment, she’s completing a memoir about being raised as a Navy brat, moving every year or two until she was in her 30s, becoming a hippie in the 1960s, living off the grid in Northern California, coming out in the 1980s, being a part of the first wave of lesbians having children, and surviving cancer twice. Her nine-word obituary: “Moved a lot, fell in love, finally stayed put.” She has been published in KQED’s Perspectives and in the online journal Inter-Connecting Circles. Living in Berkeley, California, with her wife Tanya Starnes for the past 31 years, she finally found home. Their son, Cooper Reaves, lives nearby in Oakland.   8