The Hamel family had a party yesterday to celebrate Julie’s 27th birthday and my successful completion of chemo. My last two scans have been clear and I’m considered in “remission.”
The American Cancer Society defines emission as “a period of time when the cancer is responding to treatment or is under control. In a complete remission, all the signs and symptoms of the disease disappear. It is also possible for a patient to have a partial remission in which the cancer shrinks but does not completely disappear. Remissions can last anywhere from several weeks to many years. Complete remissions may continue for years and be considered cures.”
My symptoms are gone, along with the abdominal tumor that last summer was the diameter of a grapefruit. My energy and appetite have returned, along with my hair.
Since lymphoma has fairly high return rate, I will be closely monitored for the next two years. I can’t use the good “C” word (cured) for five years. After that, my chances of getting cancer again are statistically the same as anyone else’s (which in the Western world isn’t very good news).
But enough about me. Now a word about my favorite daughter. Julie turns 27 on the 27th. Forrest Gump said that life was like a box of chocolates but with Julie and her husband, Alan, it’s more like a jar of jalapenos. What they do today might burn their butts tomorrow but they’re not interested in a bland diet of same-o, same-o. And I’m proud of them for it. Carpe Capsaicin!