Here When I Know I Shouldn't Be

It's that time of year where I tell you I'm still alive.

It's my cancerversary, and I have defied the odds for another full calendar year.

I have now lived for 6 glorious years with cancer in my body, and the most exciting news to report is that I'm a tiny bit less cancerishy than I was last year.

This news comes after my oncologist did a side-by-side comparison of my lungs from a year ago, when I jumped off the slowly sinking U.S.S. Irinotecan and onto H.M.S. Erbitux.

Despite my current "stable" scan, he was impressed to see Erbitux really has done some damage to more than just my face (skin, toes, feet, and finger nails). After we both stared at two noticeably different scans, I turned to him and yelled, "See, I've bought myself some more time!" to which he was not amused. I can't help but have a morbid (but realistic) sense of humor when living with metastatic cancer, and I don't think he shares my sarcasm for this disease.

I'm sure I've written about the lack of irony that this day falls within the Thanksgiving season. This year it falls on Thanksgiving. I live in complete humility because I am here when I know I statistically shouldn't be. Though I am technically fighting for my life, I don't live every day fighting like so many of my compatriots do.

As I do everything Thanksgiving, I will think of my friends who will not pull up a chair at the table this year, and their families that will struggle to give thanks amidst that void.

1 comment:

David DeBord said...

I too am thankful for this sixth anniversary. I too remember this day six years ago and the devastation that covered you and your young family and us and our larger family. I also remember then that Thanksgiving was the next day and as the family gathered for our traditional Thanksgiving Dinner at Grandma's house, you were the elephant that was not in the room. You were home buried in a sea of unknowns and needing to make sense of what was now happening to you. I recently heard a very accomplished man speak about dealing with the difficult things in life and one quote he built his remarks around was, "Out of ashes comes growth." He referenced that statement to what happens after a forest fire, or a personal disaster. He was applying the Romans 8:28 truth that a Loving Father God will always bring about good out of an evil thing. That statement certainly is embodied in what I have watched you live out as you have walked through these six years, refusing to allow a disease define who you are and what you do. You chose to live life and pack as much life and memory making into every day. You and your story has literally gone around the world thanks to a newspaper story and lives of other young adults were saved because they had similar symptoms and went to get a colonoscopy. You have also inspired your dear old Dad during his own hard times that no matter how difficult things get for me, you carry a heavier load and carry it exceedingly well. So Blessings on you Daughter on another milestone. I await to see what memories and miracles you will pack into this next year. And as my dad said to me once to encourage me through a difficult time I want you to know . . . "I'm rooting' for you." Happy Thanksgiving! I love you.
A very proud Dad of a simply amazing Daughter.