March 18, 2011. Michele was on her way back from a two-week trip to Russia for work. I took Shannon to her daycare. Just after lunch, I walked into my new primary care doctor’s office. I had called on Monday for the appointment. It was now Friday.
By the time I left my appointment with my doctor, I was scheduled for a CT scan on Tuesday and to see a surgeon on Wednesday. Blood was drawn. The appointment took so long that I was late in leaving to get Michele from the airport, so she had to get a taxi. From Dulles, to Baltimore.
All because I found a lump.
One year later…..
The chemotherapy that has rid my body of the Hodgkin’s Lymphoma still impairs me. Physically and cognitively. Life has slowly started to get back to normal. Perhaps I should say very slowly. I can’t get on my bike trainer because whenever I get my heart rate up, I have to take a long nap and I feel like crap the rest of the day. Even on a normal day, I have to take breaks from work or activities to give my brain a rest. While I am no longer in the fog of chemo brain, I am still slowed by what I would call “cognitive fatigue”. So I complain of being tired a lot. I am not usually physically tired, it is mentally tired, a tired that I can’t describe, but I know all to well. It is, at times, frustrating. Other times, depressing. All of the time, it is stressful.
In the last two months, we have mourned the passing of the fathers of two different dear and close friends. We have rejoiced in the arrival of many friends’ babies. We have learned of more cancer battles beginning. This is life, returning to normal.
Over the coming days and weeks, I will recall many anniversaries from both my bouts with cancer. The surgeries. The start of radiation treatment back in April 1996. Bone marrow biopsies. CT scans. The start of chemotherapy last April. These are days and milestones that probably only have meaning to me.
Next week, I will turn 39 years old. I told Michele last year, at the very start of this journey, that I had no idea that I was going to have to beat cancer twice before I was forty. Well, I did it with a year to spare. I hope that the next year is a lot easier. I hope that my brain and energy can get back to normal. In the meantime, I am still fundraising for the PMC and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. You know why. You know what it means to me. Please donate this week in honor of my birthday. As always, thank you for your support, wishes, and love. It means the world to me. Til next time.
- Thoughts about life with cancer (andyridesagainstcancer.wordpress.com)
- IT’S 2012 – Now it’s really time to beat cancer! (andyridesagainstcancer.wordpress.com)