2020 Ain’t All Bad

Miles and I traveled to City of Hope last week for my annual cancer scans, filled with the usual scanxiety. This was amplified by the fact that Miles would not – for the first time in 8+ years – be able to join me inside due to COVID-19 protocols. He has not only attended every single appointment, but he comes into the actual MRI room, and sits in my direct line of sight at the bottom of the MRI tube, in case I get scared and need a reassuring look from him. He’s the one who drops me off at one door for my CT scan, and races down the hallway to what he’s figured out is the exit door, just to make sure he’s there when I’m done with the scan. He carries my bag, rubs my back, and nervously holds my hand. So yeah, the fact he wasn’t even allowed in the building was weird for us.

I carried these with me on scan day – Hope made me the heart, & Maggie bestowed on me this precious feather…which she picked from a couch cushion 😉

However, in respect and gratitude for these new COVID-19 protocols, I donned my mask, got my temperature check and wristband indicating I was cleared, and entered the building. Miles drove to an onsite parking lot to anxiously await my update texts and calls, chewing his nails, his legs jumping anxiously (I didn’t have to actually see this to know it was going on). I had my usual blood draw, popped over for a chest CT scan, then headed for my brain MRI. Except for the 3 extremely painful pic line attempts by the phlebotomist who couldn’t seem to find a vein (something I was actually grateful Miles wasn’t there for, as he’d have passed out by attempt number two), all went normally and surprisingly quickly.

I missed my main cheerleader, though, and when he swung the car around to pick me up, I collapsed across the center console into his arms. Being a patient can be a lonely job, and it’s times like this I remember how lucky I am to have his reassurances, his hand on my back, his reminders of why I’m fighting, and his love when blood draws go bad and I desperately need a hug.

Miles’ Scan Day wardrobe since 2012: Same “lucky” plaid shirt and ripped jeans, no matter the temps (usually in the 90s!).

This year was made further complicated by the fact that my amazing oncologist, Dr. Karen Reckamp, switched facilities. I am so happy for her at this awesome new position. But, Miles and I did have to admit that it put a bit of a wrench in our normal routine. We agonized for a few weeks over what to do: stay entirely at City of Hope for old times sake? Switch institutions with her? We opted for what we believe to be the best-case scenario: staying with City of Hope for testing and scans (the superstitions in us just couldn’t imagine doing these elsewhere), and keeping Dr. Reckamp as my oncologist (the thought of anyone else was unacceptable).

We felt good once the decision was made, but as my scan drew closer, new anxieties crept in: Would it be more difficult, now that my scans and doctor were in different places? Were we bucking an already-proven method, and would that somehow lead to some sort of issue? (superstition is a bitch – especially in the cancer world). And, most importantly, would we still be able to get same-day results? I’m not sure I can fully describe to you the amount of stress and anxiety involved in waiting for scan results. Waiting for the scans and tests themselves is bad enough, but the minute those are done begins the waiting and the worrying about what the tests will actually say. What they will mean for your future, your life, your family. All of it. Dr. Reckamp, her amazing PAs, and City of Hope have always gone above-and-beyond to make this wait as short as possible for us, saving us mountains of stress, and probably a few bottles of Xanax. We had no idea what to expect this year.

Our beach babies (ML/HR)

So, we waited. I texted Dr. Reckamp that morning to let her know Miles was wearing his trusty “Scan Day” outfit, something she gets a good chuckle from. And then Miles and I sat in bed, watching episode after episode of The Wire, mindlessly eating junk food, and blessedly distracted by photos and videos of our girls, who got to have a “vacation” at Grandma and Pop’s house while we just WAITED. Around 4:30 pm I (hopefully un-annoyingly) texted Dr. Reckamp a hail-mary, “Just wondering if you might have heard anything on the scans?”

Her response: “Brain and CT look clear. Sleep well tonight!”

My main cheerleader and I screamed and ran around the house, hugged and cried, and let the feeling of another cancer-free year wash over us. The waiting never gets easier. But the relief and hope…that gets better with each passing year.

Cheers to 7.5 years NED (No Evidence of Disease). Thank you all for your love and support.

Much love. Live in the moment.


32 thoughts on “2020 Ain’t All Bad

  1. As a fellow 1 linger Em I get what your going thru. You r so Inspirational and keep me going in times of uncertainty.
    Much love to my fellow friends as our journey is far from over.

  2. Praise God for answered prayers that you have continued health for a lifetime with your loving husband and family🙏💕🤗

  3. Awesome as usual!!!!

    Bonnie J. Addario
    Co-Founder and Chair

  4. This fills my heart with so much joy!! Absolutely amazing news and by far the best of 2020. Congratulations on 7.5 years NED!!!!! ❤ The Myles family is a force to be reckoned with. May God continue to bless you and keep you safe.

  5. Wonderful news for you, Miles, Hope, Maggie, Rich, Michele and the rest of your family and friends. We love you all! ❤️🥂Cheers! Eric and Janet

  6. EmBen this is such sensational news. Loved the Hail Mary text and the answer and the jumping and dancing. Yes Yes. So huge so great thank you for sharing the details. Wow.

  7. Hello Emily
    I am so happy you are well. Great news. Go play with your two beautiful beach babies and Miles.
    Peace, Love and Harmony,

  8. Sending tons of love and cheers from Moscow. Those twins are adorable. Linda and Dean
    Kisses to those wonderful grandparents who we miss so much.

  9. Fantastic to see this post! Congrats Emily!! I can’t believe it’s been 7.5 years. I am very happy for you.
    Great to see your girls too! OMG, time goes by. And yet, Miles waste remains a size 30……

  10. Amazing news. Love to you all. Congratulations. Your letters give me so much hope for this new normal we living right now. We should take every coming day as a blessing. Thank you for sending beautiful picture of Hope and Maggie with their note Offcourse. They are growing so fast and looking more beautiful day by day. The picture sits on refrigerator and every time I pass it makes me smile. ❤️

  11. Such wonderful news. Nothing better than to have that “someone” who is always by your side. Great to have some good news!

  12. Congratulations Emily on your clear scans and 7.5 years NED!!! I am so happy for you and your family!!!! I know how frightening waiting for the scan results can be. I am lucky enough to have my scan results within an hour or 2 of my scan as Dr. Flores reads them when I meat with him after my appointment. One time when taking my vitals after the scan while I was waiting for the scan results, the machine alarm started beeping because my heart rate was 150! The few weeks before the scan is filled with anxiety, irritability, etc.. but the time from the scan to finding out the results can be almost unbearable. I am so happy that this year’s scans are behind you and that you can have that peace of mind, which is truly priceless.

    Warmest regards,

    Lisa Hutter

  13. SO so happy to hear. 💛

    On Wed, Sep 23, 2020 at 9:16 PM Emily Bennett Taylor wrote:

    > > > > > > > EmBen Taylor posted: ” > Miles and I traveled to City of Hope last week for my annual cancer scans, > filled with the usual scanxiety. This was amplified by the fact that Miles > would not – for the first time in 8+ years – be able to join me inside due > to COVID-19 protocols. He has” > > > >

  14. Tears of joy!!! YAYYYYYYYYY!!!!! So happy for you!!!!!

    My beloved oncologist moved to Miami almost 2 years ago and it was jarring, to say the least! The new one is simply a placeholder. He doesn’t know me or the story. Oddly it makes the entire thing way less dramatic in a good way Because he is so matter of fact, but having to explain the whole thing to him each time is a pain in the butt. All that to say I’m SO glad you stuck with yours — that’s so important!

    HUGS to you all! I’ve been loving watching those girls grow!

    Julie Granger Sent from my iPhone


  15. Dearest Emily,

    I can’t stop crying, happy relief tears, and they are extra wet….-the sheer volume😳!!!! I realized I was holding my breath all through my reading of your beautiful posting….. I think my head was spinning as the tears of joy & relief began. So happy—like all of us— to hear this news each year-from you. What a privilege too.

    So into a Happy ‘new’ Birthday year again!!!! Please hug that plaid-shirt husband & those adorable girls. This makes year 2020 a win.

    Most sincerely & with love, Linda & Dave xox 💛

    Sent from my iPhone


  16. I am so happy for you Emily and Miles. That is wonderful news. Thank you for sharing and letting us all know.
    Am also so sorry Miles could not be in the rooms with you. We do not like this either.
    The girls are darling!!
    Tami Borneman

  17. YES! YES! YES! So glad to hear this great news!!! YAY!! Sending you both (and the girls, too!) (and the dog, as well!) virtual hugs from N. CA!

  18. Wonderful news Emily….I love hearing about your beautiful family. Sending you love from Moscow… terri —terri Terri Guenthner Re/Max Connections tguenthner@remax.net terrig2374@gmail.com 208-301-2374

    There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.

    ~Albert Einstein


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