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Archive for November 5th, 2008

Standing on Bedrock

Last night we go out for dinner with Gord and Janet at Brasserie L’Ecole. It’s a very pleasant party, ostensibly to celebrate the end of radiation treatment for me. But, it’s also a celebration of the end of my primary treatment. I have received the full force of treatment that my doctors believe is enough to cure my Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (HL).

With the end of my primary round of treatments I have strong reasons to believe that they may also be my final treatments, for this particular illness anyway. This allows hope, that horrible emotion, to rear its ugly head.

Based on the statistics for remission of the type of HL that I have (had?!), at the stage that mine is (was?!), and receiving treatment in the manner that I did, 19 out of 20 patients have no further HL problems 5 years after the end of treatment. These are good statistics for cancer treatment. I was reading an article about Patrick Swayze’s struggle with pancreatic cancer. In his case the statistics are the exact opposite… 19 out of 20 do not survive 5 years. I suppose these stats would suggest that hope is allowable in my case. So, I will hope.

Another concern is that, while receiving enough treatment to cure my cancer, I have not received so much that other problems will come up: Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, heart disease, lung cancer, leukemia and many others. Thankfully, due to the relatively few chemo cycles and the low doses of radiation I received, chances are also good that I may dodge these bullets as well. Nothing is certain… but this is another good reason to have hope.

I was looking at the two pictures that Cass posted yesterday. The first picture is the two of us in May of this year and the second picture is us yesterday, in November. So, not quite 6 months has passed. However, when I look at our “November” faces, the trudge through hell is written in our eyes. We’ve been reduced to our most basic level and I feel like we are standing on bedrock. I feel rotten today, but I am allowing myself the hope that this is the lowest I will fall. I have found the bottom plateau and will start to climb out from here and regain my mental energy, my physical strength, some semblance of endurance and focus.

I will allow myself to hope. Wish me luck.

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