This past Wednesday, after waiting for more than two hours, having driven my blood pressure up and popping a low fever (a bad case of white coat syndrome I sometimes get in these moments), I saw my doctor at Penn and got a clean bill of health. As my younger daughter sweetly told me to write, this is my 10th year of not having cancer. There it is. So many emotions. The remission is durable and life has gone on. When I was diagnosed with MCL 6 weeks after I got married, and when I was in treatment during the year my older daughter was born, the literature was grim and we didn’t quite know what lay ahead. Yet here we are. A few months after I finished treatment 10 years ago a paper came out suggesting that this, 10 years later with nothing blocking the future, would be the case. What a beautiful thing when statistics meets life in this way. It’s good to be here.
Just a quick note to let everyone who is still paying attention out there know (yea, you, in the green shirt in Wisconsin) that all is well here, that I had my 9 year check up in April, and that I got the all clear once again. Yay!!!
For the first time in many years, I was nervous (more like a bit panicked) in the weeks leading up to the visit. But all was perfect. And life goes on, as it has for more than nine years now.
I had my every-nine-month checkup this morning.
On the one hand, hard to believe that all of that happened. Lymphoma gets smaller and smaller in the rear view.
On the other hand, though the risk of relapse is smaller and smaller, in my quiet moments, there is still fear.
Some photos from lymphoma memory lane… Hard to believe.
Also, come walk with us at the Lymphoma Walk this Saturday…
And one of us all now.
Last Monday I visited Penn for my bi-annual check up. My usually M.O. is to delay the visit for a few weeks. Which I did. For almost two months. Which turned up the anxiety level for the visit. It needn’t had. I got the all clear from Schuster. My counts were robust–my platelets the highest they’d been in the almost 7 years since chemo finished weighing in at 183!!!
This visit turned into my seven year post-chemo visit because Schuster graduated me from an every six-month visit for a check up to an every nine-month visit. We’ll see if my anxiety level can withstand the new timeframe. I think it will.
But this is really great news and we couldn’t be happier.
As of my check up yesterday, it’s officially 6 years later of being in remission. It’s hard for me to believe sometimes, but almost 6 years ago (April 2007) I was discharged from HUP for the last time following an intensive 8 month regimen of chemotherapy for my then non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. During those crazy days my father died and our first daughter Sophia was born (Sophia is now 6, and Charlotte is 3). And now I get to look back with both horror and joy at those times, and be grateful that I am here and healthy.
Just a quick note to let you know that I had my official 5-years-since-chemo visit (even though my official post-chemo anniversary isn’t until April 4–I won’t see the doctor again until August) and got the big thumbs up from Schuster. Everything normal. A durable remission, I am told. And this May will be 7-years-since-diagnosis. Finally, next week I celebrate my 11th birthday (in leap years). So all is good here.
On October 22nd, our family will walk in the Lymphoma Research Foundation’s annual 5K “Lymphomathon” to raise money for the organization that has been an important part of our lives over the last 6 years. It is amazing to think that this spring will bring the 5 year anniversary of my ongoing remission. Each year we talk and think about lymphoma a little less, but of course there is so much work that still needs to be done. Tens of thousands of people are diagnosed with lymphoma every year and many still die from the disease, including friends of ours.
I am writing to ask those of you who live in or near Philadelphia to consider joining our team, BaldMike, for the walk on October 22nd. Bust out your sneakers, double strollers, rocket-powered roller skates, whatever, and make your way to the beautiful Norristown Farm Park. We have had friends walk with us in years past and it makes the day even more special.
For more information please click the link below…