One answer to my subject question is “right here”, or here in your inbox, or here at my computer on this Thursday night. But what I mean by that question is “where am I, regarding my health, my prognosis, the road ahead?” And that is the question I’m going to answer.
I’m not sure how often I talk about this, how well I explain it, or how much you think about it, if ever. But the question came up tonight as I was emailing one of my best “Cancer Buddies”, and it’s something that I feel I want to talk about tonight, and consistently.
Where am I today? I’m a little over 18 months Post-Transplant, still in Remission, as far as I know, and my last blood work was great. As good as I ever remember it. My “Mean Cell Volume” (MCV) is normal and that is a really good sign, as a high MCV can be a bad indicator for me. I also feel really good, some days I’m tired especially when play-off hockey goes to triple overtime! But generally I am feeling well, very balanced with my days and resting/recharging.
And as good as I feel I’m never very far from the reality of my situation. The reality that people in my situation (AML diagnosis with 2 Transplants) often get sick again, many of them get really sick and die, and that can happen very quickly, when it happens. That is a reality that I’ve had on my plate for quite a while and it is one that I have great comfort with.
Let me try to explain… it’s not that I don’t want to get 80, 90, 100 years out of this life, I would love that. I would really love that. But I want to get those years in the way I love to live. I have this belief that at 27 I’ve packed more in my years to date than lots of people who have had 80, 90, or 100 years. And if I had a choice between 27 years my way, or 100 another way, it would be an easy call for me. It’s like Frankie said it’s all about “my way.”
So I approach every day with this love of it, knowing that I may not have too many more like it. See the reality is that anyone of us could have our tomorrows cut short of what we would like, but I definitely have a heightened awareness and possibility of that compared to a “normal” 27 year-old.
Prognosis? Most of my Docs that I’ve talked with tell me that usually a Patient’s first remission, the period without detectable Cancer, is their longest. My first remission was about 2 years or so, which means that I’ll hit that 2-year mark in August of this year, after that I’ll get into “gimme time” of sorts. August is a long way away, and I plan to get there one day at a time. But it will be significant if I can get there while remaining in remission.
Outside of the health things I’ve got a collection of other things that are on my mind, constantly running around my mind actually and I’m going to go put some structure to them and will get back to you very soon.
Hope you could follow this message. It wasn’t intended to scare anyone, or upset you, it is a piece of my reality that I really feel is important to share, cause there are tons of us out here who have this Challenge come our way called Cancer. And some of us weren’t supposed to be here to see today even, and many of us won’t be expected to be here for tomorrow or many more tomorrows. And I think it’s important for us all to remember that, both those of us who are Patients and those of us who are connected to Patients.
Every day is so precious, and I can’t these words enough….
Live life. Love life.