Topic: An anniversary (of sorts)
Greetings to everyone.
I presume that most of us on this site have special days of remembrance related to our disease -- those dates when we or loved ones were first diagnosed, first started treatment, and so forth. Unfortunately, for too many, there is that date when a loved one was lost to this disease.
Along with the other important dates in my life -- the day I met my wife (which was also the very day I knew I would marry her!), our anniversary, the birth dates of my stepsons -- these new dates crowd my memory: the day I first became symptomatic, learned there was a mass in my liver, was diagnosed with CC, was told I had only a few months to live, had my surgeries. Although I am intent on moving forward and not dwelling on the past (as best I can), these dates are very important. They represent times that changed my life in a most profound way. Suddenly, in a brief moment, there was a paradigm shift, and I had to begin think about the meaning of my life in new ways. I have come to accept many of the new probabilities in my new future. What I cannot accept, what I may never learn to accept, is that someday this disease might ultimately take away my ability to be with and care for my family.
I have reached the anniversary of one of those special dates. One year ago I became symptomatic. One day I was fine, the next day something was obviously very wrong. As with everyone fighting this disease, there have been ups and downs. Unexpectedly, early this year I was able to have two surgeries that greatly extended my life. I did, however, have a microscopically positive margin and extensive lymphatic involvement. So, I was put on intense adjuvant therapy. Unfortunately, for the last several months, I have struggled with treatment-induced liver disease with all of the fatigue and symptoms that come with it. This cut my adjuvant therapy short, which is a cause for concern. Still, a year after my first symptoms I am here thanks to skilled and caring physicians, the love of family and friends, and the support of a faith community. I am relatively healthy and currently tumor free (!), and able to be with my family and continue to work. This is so much more than we could have imagined a year ago. I am blessed.
Thank you all for letting me ramble on...and helping me to honor this date in my life.
Best wishes to all,