Saturday, April 7, 2012

2 years and counting...

Yesterday was April 6th and marked 2 years since my stem cell transplant at The National Institute of Health.  On Thursday, the 5th, I had bloodwork done, a PET scan, and a CT scan.  Bloodwork was "perfect" according to my doctor.  And my scans showed continued calcification in the 2 masses of scar tissue left in my body.  For those wondering, calcification is a good thing, a very good thing.  There was a teeny bit of uptake on the PET scan at the bottom of the mass in my chest but seems to be the result of inflammation due to the never-ending cough and cold that I have been fighting.  It was sort of amazing to look at a scan with activity (even a small amount) and not feel panic or dread or even fear.  I wasn't sure that I would ever look at a scan again and not be terrified.  I guess when you trust your medical team as I have learned to trust mine then you slowly, very slowly, learn to keep these things in perspective.  Whatever it is, perspective or time or a combination of the two, it was truly a pleasure to walk out of my appointment with my team and feel really good about my scans.

So, its been 2 years since they put my sister's immune system into my body.  It is still nutty to me that that is even possible!  I no longer have cancer activity in my body nor the reality that I could die very soon.  Instead, I have life and love and unending hope.  I also seem to have "inherited" seasonal allergies but I'm ok with that!

Best,
Elizabeth

Monday, April 2, 2012

A beauty of cancer

I will never tell you that I am thankful that I got cancer.  I simply can not stomach the thought of being thankful for that.  I will tell you that I am proud of the way I handled cancer (most days) and I am thankful for the many things I learned from cancer.  There are, in fact, a great many things that cancer teaches you and a great many things to take away from cancer.  This post is about one of those things and I will refer to it as a beauty of cancer.

A beauty of cancer is the people.  The people you meet along the way.  The people you knew before but step up during.  The people you meet after when you are a new person.  There are the friends, the family, the nurses, the doctors, the radiology techs, the IV teams, the phlebotomists, the lab techs, the aids, the cafeteria staff, the patients, the survivors, and the list goes on and on and on.  I have met people in person.  I have met them online.  I have dear friends who I only know through facebook.  I have met the spouses and parents and children of patients.  I have met people from all over the United States and all over the world.  The people are amazing.

Cancer sucks.  The people are amazing.