The year started out well enough. My grapefruit-sized tumor had disappeared after six rounds of R-CHOP chemo. I got a survivorship certificate from the clinic and a T-shirt from my relieved family.
My cancer returned in March so I started preparing for a bone marrow / stem cell transplant. I had a Hickman Line inserted into my chest and went through two rounds of RICE chemo, this time requiring hospitalization.
I went to the Rocky Mountain Cancer Center in Denver for my transplant. I was there for five weeks, undergoing high-dose chemo, stem cell harvesting, and an autologous transplant. Not a fun experience but it beats the alternative.
At the same time I was having my transplant, Nate and Jenn were having my third grandchild in a hospital across town. I wasn’t allowed to go. The last place someone without an immune system should be is a hospital.