A healthy and thankful me.

Just over 16 months ago, on June 6, 2012, I was told that I had a rare and aggressive form of Lymphoma, that is very difficult to get into remission, and has a 5 year survival rate of 20%.  That news was about as close to a death sentence as I ever care to receive.  Yesterday was my followup visit with Dr. Horwitz at Duke.  After a CT scan and some blood work, I was told that my scan was fabulous, showing no signs whatsoever of residual cancer, my blood work was about as perfect as it gets, and I am not scheduled for another followup visit for 6 months.  Hallelujah !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

As we were driving home, I said to Holly that I was have some difficulty processing all that I had heard during our visit.  Certainly I understood that I am now in complete remission, and the cancer has been totally eliminated from my body.  And I understood that I no longer have any restrictions on my activities because my immune system, by this point, is totally reestablished and is capable of fighting off most any germs/viruses/infections/etc. that it routinely encounters.  In other words, I am able to resume my life as I knew it before Non Hodgkins Peripheral T-Cell Lymphoma entered, temporarily, into my life and my body.

The reason I am still having some difficulty completely absorbing this most recent positive report is that up until now there has always been a BUT, or a PENDING, somewhere in the conversation.  "Everything looks really good but we need to finish up the radiation treatments."  "You are in complete remission but we want to get a look at another scan in 3 months just to be sure."  "......but...."  This time, however, there was no BUT.  We don't need to wait and see what some additional test tells us.  I don't need anymore treatments of any type.  There is nothing pending except for me, and my amazing family, to get on with our lives.  Why is that so hard to grasp ?  It really isn't that tough, and I look forward to letting it totally sink in.

There is something that I keep thinking about from time to time, and it concerns the people who are right now in the process of going through some form of cancer treatment.  My battle is over and it is time for me to move on.  But someone else out there just got their cancer diagnosis yesterday, or is nervously awaiting the outcome of that biopsy, which will not be good news.  As I sat in the waiting area yesterday at the Duke Bone Marrow Transplant clinic, I saw patients come and go, and could tell that they were in the process of going through their own bone marrow transplant,  and feeling absolutely terrible.  I looked at the door that I had gone through so many times, and thought about the men and women sitting back there hooked up to IV pumps, getting the medications that will keep them alive and hasten their recovery.

I know that I will never forget about those who are going through their own personal ordeal.  And I will always be mindful of the fact that none of us is promised a tomorrow.  I will always remember to say a prayer for them and their families.  Thanks to all of those who remembered to pray for me and my family.  I will be eternally grateful.

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