This is a blog intended to keep family and friends posted about my progress as I undergo a stem cell transplant to fight my relapse of Hodgkin's Lymphoma.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Kinda big

Soon, there's going to be some disagreement between my oncologist and I.  Soon, as in tomorrow...

I tend to lean towards being conservative regarding terms like "remission" and "cured".  In fact, if you wanna know how I REALLY feel, I believe the Hodge, or any other cancer, can rear its ugly head in my life ANY time it wants, without regard for how long I have remained Cancer-free.

All that being said, this Friday, the 26th, I see my oncologist.  Assuming there are no surprises, I expect to hear that my remission continues.  I might even hear the BIG word--cured!  Afterall, it has been 5 years since my transplant.  I won't consider myself having 5 years of remission until Feb 12th, though.  THAT is when I heard "remission" for the 1st time following a clean scan.  THAT will be my "cured" date.

I have mixed emotions about the word "cured".  Every cancer survivor longs to hear it.  But my excitement about the possibility of being told I'm cured is tempered by my "reality-based" belief that this monster can come back ANY time wants.  Cancer cells don't understand words like "cured".  I have some relief, having this much "clean time" under my belt.  It helps me feel more secure in believing I will remain cancer-free longer.  But the thought of it returning, or some other form of cancer showing up to turn my life upside down, is still in a terrified corner of my mind.  I don't let myself live in fear, but I also don't let myself feel overly excited about the news I expect to hear tomorrow.

Shouldn't there be fireworks, a parade, a street named in my honor?!  Afterall, I stared death in the face twice, and boldly (ok, maybe not boldly!) told it to go to hell!  But I know better.  My world moved on from the world of cancer long ago.  Heck, even I don't think about my experiences as often as I used to.  It's usually when a lingering side affect flares up, or I have one of these bi-yearly oncology appointments, that I REALLY get deep into thought about my battle.  I don't expect most people in my world to even realize the significance of tomorrow  Is it selfish to think they should?  Maybe.  Actually, it just occurred to ME just a couple weeks ago that this is it...the appointment I've been waiting for ever since that fateful day in April, 2006, when the word "cancer" entered my life for the first time.  I'm hoping, longing, expecting, to hear tomorrow that I am finally "CURED"!!!!!  Maybe I'll have my own fireworks or parade for myself.  And maybe, just maybe, tomorrow will mark the point at which I can work harder to finally move on, and not let myself worry so much about the if or when I will fight yet another battle.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Still Kickin' after all this time :-)

I get weekly stats on how many people still come to my blog, even after I haven't written a word in almost 4 years. It amazes me to know that, whether intentionally, or unintentionally, people still stumble across my experience with my stem cell transplant. Hopefully, those who come here find something of value while they browse the different posts. Whether "that thing" they are trying to find is a little bit of humor, information, brutal honesty about what it's like to fight for your life, or some other "thing", I'm hoping they (you) find it when you get here.

Like I said before, it's been almost 4 years...which means I'm almost at the point where I can say I have four years of remission! February 12th, baby! I'm thrilled to be able to say that! It hasn't been the smoothest of rides, but I definitely have been fortunate. The long term side effects I deal with are frustrating at times, but I know life could be a whole lot worse than it is for me. So, no complaints about it! Maybe I'll spend some time on here discussing some of the issues my "survivorship" has produced for me, in case someone out there is looking for information or just someone who can "relate".

I've been tossing around the idea of starting to write again, even if it's mostly for my own benefit. I haven't decided. While I love talking about my cancer experiences with anyone who wants to know more about it, I have mixed feelings about sharing how well I'm actually doing. There have just been so many of my fellow warriors who aren't as lucky as me, and sharing publicly how I've been able to stay cancer-free feels almost arrogant. I know what my profession calls it--"survivor's guilt". It's hard to feel completely free of this disease when so many other people I know end up relapsing or never getting to say they have reached a remission. So, I will ponder a while longer before I decide whether or not to become active on here again. I just wanted to check in and acknowledge my gratitude to all those who have followed me in the past and who still come looking around here wondering if I will show my face again!

For now, know that I am doing well, my family is doing well, and that's about all anyone can ever ask for in this life, right?!

Love to all