Ethan Zohn received an early present this holiday season: a clear PET Scan.
The full-body scan performed by his doctors in Manhattan Tuesday confirmed that five weeks of radiation treatments just completed by the Survivor: Africa winner have done their job. For the first time since his battle with a rare form of Hodgkin’s disease began last April, there are now no active cancer cells in his body.
“If I walked in off the street today, they would think I’m cancer free,” says Zohn, 36, who has chronicled his struggle on PEOPLE.com. “This is the best possible news I could have gotten at this stage of my journey.
“I honestly believe that all the positive healing vibes everyone has been sending me these past nine months have helped,” Zohn says, “so thank you to everyone from the bottom of my heart.”
As wonderful as the news is, Zohn’s journey is not over yet. Because his cancer has proven itself to be resurgent in the past – after three months of intense chemotherapy over the summer, cancerous growths were found in his body in the fall – his doctors still plan to move forward with a stem-cell transplant.
Zohn expects to be admitted to the hospital in the next two weeks to begin the daunting procedure, which will keep him isolated for 30 days straight. “With my history,” he says, “its essential.”
VIDEO: Getting Chemo with Ethan Zohn
But Zohn remains positive. “I’m so pumped and excited. My docs are amazing,” he says.
His girlfriend, Jenna Morasca, and his family are elated as well, Zohn says.
Morasca tells PEOPLE, “I always knew he could beat it. This is the best Christ-makah present anyone could ask for.” Showing her usual sense of humor, she adds, “Except a puppy.”