Most cancer patients who are undergoing treatments know that “see you in thirty days” is usually the time between doctor appointments. You have thirty days to worry if the other shoe is going to drop or you can try to live your life. Learning how to live your life in thirty day increments is a process and it takes a while to get to the point where you can accept your situation and strive to make the best of it.
It all sounds well and good when you write it down or repeat it to yourself, but it can sometimes be a real struggle to keep the “what if” thoughts from pushing their way from the back of your head to the fore front of your thoughts.
I have been very lucky in beating back my Multiple Myeloma (bone marrow cancer) and more recently my Leukemia. But the odds of the Leukemia coming back are not at all in my favor. They say that only twenty-five percent of the patients in my age group survive for five years or more, with the vast majority of recurrences happening within the first two years. Being on the younger end of the patient spectrum is definitely in my favor, but still I am now a year and seven months from my stem cell transplant so I definitely feel the clock ticking.
I wish I was smart enough to give folks a magic formula on how to keep the clock’s ticking sound from drowning out everything else. All I know is to keep myself busy and keep reminding myself to truly appreciate every day and all the good things that I have in my life right now.
And those good things all start with my family – my amazing wife Nancy, my three great kids and two daughters-in-law (who are like two of my own kids) and my two wonderful grand kids (with #3 on the way!). From there the ripples of gratitude quickly extend out to my folks and the rest of my huge extended family and all of my dear friends on both the West and East coasts – and Europe come to think of it. I am a very, very fortunate man, cancer be damned!