"You held me down,
But I got up,
Already brushing off the dust."
"I went from zero,
To my own hero."
- Katy Perry, 'Roar'
Six weeks after we were first told our son had Acute Myeloid Leukemia, we awoke today to a phone call letting us know that he's officially beating it.
Or, more accurately, that he's beat it. For now.
Our primary nurse called at 9:45 a.m. to say that Dominic's bone marrow aspirate, which was taken Wednesday, showed zero per cent cancer cells.
"So can I call that remission?" I asked.
"You sure can," she replied. "This is a best case scenario."
On Wednesday night two YouTube videos were posted on my Facebook feed. Both were compilations of children's hospital staff, patients and families lip-syncing; one to Katy Perry's 'Roar' and another to Sara Bareilles' 'Brave.' Both are enough to bring on tears.
Our Dominator is worthy of both of them. And all of the happy tears that flow his way today.
His journey is not over. He will still go back to the hospital Tuesday for additional rounds of chemotherapy. We will not have the chance to talk with doctors until then about how anything changes due to this news. Hopefully it means less aggressive drugs and a plan of maintenance rather than re-killing all of the cells in his body. We don't know.
What we do know is cause enough for celebration.
After a first few weeks of pain, swelling, drugs and tests, Dom did start to return to his usual self. That's to say happy, smiling, energetic and full of love. I think all of the positive energy — more than we ever could have expected — played a role in this. We felt it, and we passed it on to him. And even the best doctor in the world will tell you that a good attitude is absolutely a part of a successful treatment.
It would be simple to think our road ahead just got easier. Perhaps it has, at least in the short term. Long-term? Well, this is all we had planned for in the long term anyhow. Hopefully our dreams and expectations continue to meet up so neatly with reality.
There are many other cancer patients in Dominic's shoes who don't go through this scenario with such luck. And we're quite aware on some level that his luck could change tomorrow. After all, that's what happened when he became sick in the first place. You just never know.
But for today, we're happy. Yesterday we were happy. Tomorrow we will be happy. Nothing has changed except for the test results.
Cancer had us all down. We've turned the tables. Roar, indeed.