Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Merry Christmas!!!

Well, I can't believe that it is already December 22, Advent is wrapping up, and Christmas is right around the corner. I truly love this time of year.....what with the radio stations playing Christmas music all day, last minute shopping, crazed parents running each other over to buy motorized hamsters, and ABC Family Christmas marathons. Santa Baby starring Jennie McCarthy was my personal favorite this year....haha. And, of course.....this is the best time to reflect on what is important.... our blessings of family, friends, and faith, and to think more soundly about that Little Guy in the manger a couple thousand years ago. My first (of many, many to come) Christmas as a cancer survivor is giving me a whole new perspective on just about everything. Cancer treatment has caused me to slow down my pace this year and I am thankful for that. No more taking life, time, family, or friends for granted because we don't know how things are gonna play out. It is THE great mystery and its pretty exciting to be a part of.

I thought about trying to write a poem to the tune "Twas the Night Before Christmas" but it was'nt working out all that well.....haha.....maybe next year. So, I will just stick to my usual ramblings and quasi-philosophising. As far as my treatment goes, I am two weeks into course 4 (5 more weeks to go!!) It has been more difficult than I had hoped and filled with nausea, exhaustion, and just about everything else. Dr. Claxton expects me to fall a little bit further over the next couple of weeks so it will be back to neutrapenia and high risk of infection and hospitalization. They have also put me back on the chemo drug that caused the tingling neuropathy in my fingers and feet.....but they will keep a close eye on my symptoms. BUT....the good thing is I am still leukemia free and there is a light at the end of the tunnel.....getting brighter by the day. I was lucky enough to meey a young lady yesterday who really gave me something to look forward to. She was diagnosed with ALL 2 and a half years ago and last night was her LAST treatment. She had gone through pretty much everything that I have and she came out healthy and a better person for it. I was so excited for her and it gave me an image that "there is an end" and I can and WILL get there. Quite the Christmas present for her as well.

So, 5 more weeks of pretty agressive treatment and then things should start getting easier permanantly. That will take me into 2010 which will be an amazing year. I get swept off my feet and get to become the husband to the most amazing, beautiful girl there is. I will continue my education and move to a new city. And I will continue to fight this cancer until it is no more. I also signed up with the Leukemia Society to be an Honoroary Teammate for an awesome group that is going to hike the Grand Canyon in May to raise money to stop leukemia in its tracks. I am hoping to make that trip with them....though I may have to rent a mule or something this year. The Eagles are also making their trek toward their first Superbowl victory. Evan, Tyson, Christy, Logan and I made it to the game on Sunday and we made friends with some of the Eagles cheerleaders.....there is visual evidence that I will post on facebook

I hope that this week finds everybody happy, joyous, and with loved ones. Thanks for being my loved ones during this journey. It has been quite the ride and I would have been hapless without you.

Merry Christmas, God bless, and ALL Will Be Well

"And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.'" --Linus inspired me to use this

Friday, December 4, 2009

Good Job, Marrow!

Yesterday was my appointment with Dr. Claxton to discuss the results from my bone marrow biopsy taken at the end of the 3rd course of treatment. I didn't sleep too well the night before and woke up with a huge headache....probably from stress. I am still trying to kick that headache actually. The first bit of good news was when I found out that I had gained a few pounds (gotta celebrate the little victories) so, watch out, soon enough I will be back to my intimidating self. The the doctor came into the room on-time (must have been an alignment of the moons or something). Within the first few minutes of him being in there he mentioned, almost as an aside, that my marrow had come back clean and with no signs of residual leukemia. I instantly let out a huge breath....he must have thought there was a draft of something. I had to ask him to repeat himself and double check just to be sure. He did and I was on top of the world. This basically means that the chemo has been working up to this point and cleared out my marrow of all leukemia. Those are beautiful words. This does not mean that it is all over (not even close, unfortuneately) but it is certainly a very good sign. Things are as positive as they could be up to this point. There is still one more 7-week course of very agressive chemo and then 3 years of monthly maintenance. So, there is still a battle to fight, but we are winning and won't stop until this thing truly regrets the day it chose the Lyons boys.

As I was laying in bed thinking about all this last night (since I couldn't sleep again cause of that headache), it just seemed like very appropriate timing. Advent is all about waiting and appreciating that wait because what is at the end is very worthwhile. That wait can be hard, challenging, and not easy but the finish line offers amazing rewards. Moving on to this 4th course feels like there is a finally a light at the end of the tunnel. Its still small but its getting brighter and I/we (can't do it alone) will follow that light at all costs......sounds like 3 other guys who followed that light 2000 years ago....and that seemed to pay off.

Anyway, that's enough philosophizing for now. I'm just so happy about yesterday's news and energized for the next part of this fight. Thanks for fighting with me. It means everything. No doubt that.....

ALL Will Be Well

"Christmas has lost its meaning for us because we have lost the spirit of expectancy. We cannot prepare for an observance. We must prepare for an experience."