Day 73

Today is Day 73 post transplant.  The magic number for an autologus transplant (using my own cells) seems to be 90 days and I am getting close.  After 90 days the immune system has gotten fairly well reestablished, and while due caution is still in order, I can begin getting out and around more than before.  I have started back going to church on Sundays, arriving 2 minutes after the service starts, sitting in the back row, and leaving 2 minutes before the service ends.  After the service is over, that is still an awful lot of people mulling around in a small space, shaking hands and sometimes hugging your neck, so we will reserve that for later.

I am feeling pretty well on most fronts, although my main problem continues to be fatigue.  I can tell a difference and some improvement if I look back a week or two, but I still tire easily after any exertion and can tell that it will be a long and slow journey back.  I started radiation treatments this week, and while there should be few if any side effects from that, it is common to have fatigue after a few weeks of accumulated treatments.  That's all I need - I was just getting headed in the right direction and then bumped into this big radiation machine.  But that only lasts 3 more weeks and then I should be DONE with all the treatments the doctors have been able to dream up.  Not sure how I will react to not having my body poked, poisoned, radiated and otherwise abused, but I am sure looking forward to it.

I read an article in the radiation waiting room this week that started out as follows.

Moving forward as a survivor.  Your active treatment is finished.  You have come through an incredible journey, and now you're ready to embrace life as a cancer survivor.  You may look at things differently now and feel more grateful than ever for your life and health.  But your also deeply concerned about what comes next.  

It then goes on to talk about finding your "new normal".  Much has happened, and much has changed, and finding out where and how you will experience changes to the "old normal" can be difficult.  But somehow I think that I will do just fine adapting to life without cancer.  And considering that about a year ago I was wondering if I would even be alive in May of 2013, I look forward with great joy to addressing each and every one of those changes as they arise.

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