It has been a long time. I have been caught up again in this thing called life, but I would like to take a moment , today, on Christmas Eve, to share a few things with you.
First, some news. For those of you who don’t follow Lou Pitchoun USA on Facebook (you can like us here), I had my D+100 post transplant check up last month, and everything was fine. Although I didn’t have a scan (next one scheduled in a few months), my labs were great and the doc said everything was good. This good news gave me some relief for a little while, then I started to freak out again.
Indeed, since the end of my treatment, I have had a hard time not to worry or fear another relapse. After reading a lot about it, this is something pretty common for patients and survivors. But it doesn’t mean that it makes it easier. Last year, after my first remission, I did resume my “previous normal life” pretty quick. One month after my last treatment, I felt good enough to say that I had my “old normal” back. This time… well this is different. I don’t think I can ever claim that I am the guy I used to be before this cancer journey, nor can I say that cancer is definitely and totally out of my mind. I have come to the conclusion that I now need to define my new normal, my new me. And this is the challenge.
I think I have always been someone anxious. But it reached a new level over the last few months. Thanks to my amazing wife, I have slowly learned how to face and fight my fears. And I realized that there is not one miracle solution that will do the trick over night. Instead, there are several options, multiple paths that can lead to a better state of mind. No, I don’t think I will ever be able to take the word cancer away from my head, but yes, I believe that there are ways to put it on the back burner, along with the fears.
On this new road, I met – through support groups – new people, fellow survivors whose stories are very inspiring and gave me a new prospective on how to live after treatment. Their journeys are telling me that although there is no guarantee about any future relapse, I have to live now. Yes, I know, you hear that all the time, but it is actually totally different when you finally realize it on your own. Really. Which reminds me this quote, that resonates so much for me now:
Life is a journey, not a destination.
Indeed, I have put myself on hold for so long, thinking “well, let’s wait until the next scan to do that, because after that everything should be all right”. Again, there is no guarantee. I can still die tomorrow in car accident. So why wait? Of course I have still not regained very high levels of energy, but I am able to work full time and take care of my boys during the weekends while my lovely wife is at work. So I am just trying to live each day at the fullest, until my time comes, hopefully when I will be over 90 something 😉
CHRISTMAS PRAYERS & WISHES
For this Christmas, I wish and pray that the celebration of the birth of Jesus brings more hope to my fellow survivors who are still battling:
– to Sam, so he finally gets a break from the pain and have restful nights, and so he can “recharge his batteries” before the next step of the battle. I also hope he starts the clinical trial down in North Carolina on time, and that this new treatment finally brings him to full and forever lasting remission.
– to Sego, so she finally receives the good news she is waiting for, and she can move to the bone marrow transplant and be done with this, forever.
– to Shericka, so she finally reaches full and forever lasting remission.
As Christmas is also time for peace, I wish and pray that our crazy world calms down, and that people around the world who are in the midst of war and torment find peace during this precious time. I also pray that we, as human beings and inhabitants of this planet, find new ways to live together, in peace with each other, but also in peace with our planet. I also pray that we find new ways to put people first and that we get rid of the old and failed schemes that have led us so far. I think the world is ready for something new, something better, something big. And I firmly believe that the human common sense will overcome selfish interests, for a global good.
All right, all right, I get my feet back on earth now 😉
Lastly, I would like to share with you good news from another survivor I mentioned before. His name is Gideon, and he is a baby. He was diagnosed with brain cancer when he was one year old. He went through surgery, and he finished his last chemo treatment last month, right before Thanksgiving. And two weeks ago, as an early Christmas present, he and his parents received the good news that he was finally cancer free! I invite you to watch this video below – from his Facebook page – about his journey (be prepared to cry a lot!).
Merry Christmas to you all.
Hope and Peace to the World.
See you for the next story.
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