I’m two months post stem cell transplant and doing well, especially compared to others whose stories I’ve read. I’ve much to be thankful for:
- I’m sleeping without the aid of pills for the first time in a year.
- My hair is growing! It looks and feels like dryer lint.
- I’m exercising and running again. True, I’m slower than a lobbying reform bill in congress but at least I’m moving.
- I’ve regained half the weight I lost over the course of chemo.
Ongoing areas of concern:
- I still take over 30 pills a week but that’s half what I used to pop and the total will shrink with time.
- My cholesterol and triglycerides are sky high and I can’t figure out why. I may wind up on medication for this—more pills.
- Nothing new on the job front, which is the most discouraging part of life these days.
- The Shadow.
Cancer casts a long shadow. Just because the transplant was successful doesn’t mean my cancer is gone. Around 60% of people with Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma who get a transplant are alive five years later. Much better odds than if you do nothing, still, no slam-dunk.
Then there are the secondary cancers to which the alkylating agents in my chemotherapy make me more susceptible but let’s not go there now. Beyond that . . .
“We don’t know what is beyond our life. We cannot forecast anything about the future for certain; any attempt of our fantasy to fill the emptiness with wish-fulfilling concreteness is more a sign of weak faith than of strong hope. Faith asks us to jump; to surrender and believe that somewhere, somehow, someone will catch us and bring us home.” – Henri Nouwen, Finding Hope in Hard Times