07 December 2016

All Our Todays

Today is notable for which of the following reasons?

A: It is the 75th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
B: It is the day NBC will air “Hairspray Live!”
C: It is the one-year anniversary of my cancer diagnosis

All three are correct.

It’s kinda hard to believe I’ve already made it through my first year of cancer. When I look back at everything that’s happened in the last year, I’m amazed: diagnosis (on Pearl Harbor day, of all days), kidney biopsy, bone marrow biopsy, chemo, chemo and more chemo, edema swelling my legs like an elephant’s, debating with my doctor about reducing my chemo levels, having the low blood numbers go higher and the high levels go lower (both good things), reducing the amount of water I drink each day, reducing the amount of sodium I consume each day, emerging from it all “technically in remission” yet knowing all of this will be part of my life until I die.

I’m constantly amazed when people say “I’m sorry” when they find out I have cancer. “Don’t be,” I tell them. “It could be worse.” At least I didn’t die in a plane crash; I have a heads up. I had one doctor recently tell me I had a cynical/positive attitude about my cancer. “I’d rather think of it as a ‘shit happens’ attitude,” I said. We all have our problems and this is mine.

Many people say their first year of cancer was the worst. If I look back on my situation in the years to come and find that to be true, then that's okeh. It's been a bad year (that could certainly have been much worse); but maybe the "worst" is behind me now and we'll run the course on cruise control. I certainly hope so.

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