I got cut short a bit on my previous reply due to work...
Latest medical update as of March: Clean scans and blood work - no recurrence. Decided not to do any adjuvant chemo.
I'm honestly still in shock and wish I could wake up from this nightmare. I'm coming to terms with my mortality - which I guess most of us do, eventually. All of us except those taken swiftly and/or by accident at a young age. It's giving me more appreciation for the little things in life and a better perspective, for sure.
I reached a new milestone for me this Easter weekend - my surgical wounds healed to the point that I no longer need to care for them so I took my first bath in a tub (vs shower) since before my surgery in January. That was nice. Not having to spend time twice a day unpacking and packing open wounds is nice too. I'm sure my wife will appreciate me putting away all of the wound supplies and getting our bedroom looking less like a hospital room.
Basically, I'm trying to just live fully, as if none of this has happened to me. My emotions have improved a lot but I still have triggers, songs, memories, thoughts, etc. that cause me to fall apart and into tears.
The Gift of Life Transplant House in Rochester, MN has this on the wall and I'm finding it a good daily reminder. I hope others here like it too. It's called Living Life – by Bonnie Mohr:
Life is not a race - but indeed a journey. Be Honest. Work hard. Be choosy. Say "thank you", "I love you", and "great job" to someone each day. Go to church, take time for prayer. The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh. Let your handshake mean more than pen and paper. Love your life and what you've been given, it is not accidental - search for your purpose and do it as best you can. Dreaming does matter. It allows you to become that which you aspire to be. Laugh often. Appreciate the little things in life and enjoy them. Some of the best things really are free. Do not worry, less wrinkles are more becoming. Forgive, it frees the soul. Take time for yourself - plan for longevity. Recognize the special people you've been blessed to know. Live for today, enjoy the moment.
This forum is GREAT - I really appreciate all the perspectives, information, feedback, and love that everyone here has.