I'm OK; I'm midway through my doctoring cycles, and I don't see my Oncologist again until June. All is well.
Nay, this is about my slightly-younger cousin today. About 2 weeks back now, he went in to see his doctor for a nagging cough that had "lasted all winter". Ordinary tests revealed nothing, but a CAT scan revealed a baseball-sized mass in his left lung.
Further analysis revealed an aggressive form of non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Fortunately, it hadn't spread anywhere, and he didn't even have any lymph nodes affected. But he's in line for straight chemo and radiology - he won't have a surgical option to remove anything here.
My cousin was in and out of Boston earlier in the week (He lives in Waterbury, VT now) and the good folks at Dana-Farber corroborated the diagnosis from Vermont.
So another one is off to do battle. He had his port put in yesterday, and probably already has some chemo on-board. (I got my port and my first treatment on the same day.)
Thursday night was my Cub Scout pack's Pinewood Derby - and we had a visitor from the 'other' pack in town. A Mr. Perry of Troop 250 was diagnosed with a particularly virulent form of brain cancer just a few months after I got my diagnosis. He was in far worse shape than me; for a while we didn't think he was going to make it. But he came and visited, and looked in much better health, but like all cancer survivors the scars were evident.
All of this made me ponder my own diagnosis again. Some days I'm still mystified how and why I got this; some other days I wonder why I'm even still here. I wrote about it a while ago - I still think that had my appendix not been involved, far worse things than what I had would have happened. Think about it - I turn 50 this summer, which is the AMA's recommended age for your first colonoscopy. I had advanced colon cancer at age 46 - and only by sheer luck was it discovered in time.
This past January was my 3rd since I finished treatment. That's still officially "in remission", as the ol' actuarial tables insist I go five years clean before it's considered a cure. For the most part, things have returned to normal, or what is now the "new normal". I won't bore you with a laundry list, but there's some things that are still minor issues, lo these many years later.
But back to my cousin - he's the owner and operator of a fine summer camp for youth
in upstate New York, catering mostly to city kids from New York. Over the past winter, he spent a lot of time and money getting their dining hall replaced. He was looking forward to a fantastic season this year with sparkling new facilities when all this happened.
So I've been musing that maybe my own path isn't that different. You know what youth group I work with. The twelfth point of the Scout Law is "A Scout is Reverent". I still remain irreverent most of the time, but sometimes I do ponder that maybe my work here isn't finished yet, and maybe surviving all this is part of a grander plan.