Monday, October 5, 2009

Good News

I just got a call from the clinic telling me that my blood levels are high enough for chemo tomorrow. They also told me that my platelets are in the same range as that of a normal person, which means that my body is making bone marrow. My platelets have more than quadrupled since the first chemo. It was my bone marrow that was being attacked by the tumor in the first place, and that's how it was found in the MRI.

It was such a relief to hear that news from the clinic. It seems like all of this suffering is actually paying off. So far, I'm responding to the treatment, and I know better than to take that for granted. I've been told that there are plenty of people with my disease who never respond at all. The tumor just never recedes, no matter how much chemo they receive. I don't know what that would mean, but I hate to believe it means they just don't have a chance.

The fact that this tumor is so unpredictable still scares me. I'm afraid one day the progress I'm making will suddenly stagnate and the tumor will just stay where it is. And even if it goes into remission, one of the problems with this tumor is the frequency with which it returns. I'm not even rid of it and I'm afraid of it coming back. Pretty ironic, huh? I guess that's just something I'm going to have to deal with. Priority number one is still kicking its ass right now, the first time.

I hope that fear only remains with me as a reminder to cherish every day I have as a gift. I know I was never the best at doing that before, but living every day in fear is certainly inspiration to change your way of viewing life. I've said before that fear is only what you allow it to be. If you let it become more than an unnecessary distraction, it can get in the way of life's enjoyment. That's not what I want. Everyone fears the unknown to some extent, but it's just like the "why me?" question; if I sit here wondering whether or not this thing is going to come back, it's only going to bother me and, again, I will never find an answer. I must know better than to do that. I have to do my best to focus my energy on the battle I'm fighting right now. Everything else is simply out of my control, so I'll leave it at that.

Today is a good day. The news from the clinic was fantastic, so I'll celebrate today as a good day. Still, the day before the next round of chemo is always bittersweet. Since it's the day furthest removed from the last chemo, it's the best I get to feel. It's the closest I ever get to feeling like myself. I also know how tomorrow's going to make me feel, and I dread waking up in the morning.

Nevertheless, I know I'll be there and on time for chemo tomorrow. No matter how difficult it is or how terrible I feel, the one thing that never fails is that time will always pass. Though slowly and sometimes painfully, nauseously and sometimes dizzily, time will pass and I will persevere until I reach the next day-before-chemo and I will feel this good again.

I keep telling myself that each round I will get stronger. After this chemo I'll recover faster than last time, throw up less, maybe take less morphine for the pain, pee normally, and set a better example for others than I have in the past. I know it's chemo and it's unpredictable, but it's the day before the cycle starts all over again, so for right now I've just got to believe.