Getting Back To Basics

During the beginning of 2013, I have been reflecting on many different things:

  1. This week in 2008, I was inpatient at KUMED for my stem cell transplant.
  2. Thinking about the fact that it has been five years ago this week that I sat in the midst of the transplant unit waiting on that long process to play out.
  3. Beginning another transition period in my current treatment regimen.
  4. Getting ready to start a totally new chemotherapy agent in the near future.

All of these things have been churning in my mind and causing me some discomfort. I seem to have a problem getting on top of the distress I feel when I think about these things. The sad thing — all of these items are good things!

I decided several days ago to revisit my “True North” and focus on that while contemplating where I have been and what I have to look forward to.

In the book of Genesis it tells about God creating man from the dust of the ground and breathing the breath of life into his nostrils. Then he created a woman to be his helper. God is my “True North.”

The fact that he created me and loved me so much that he actually breathed the breath of life into the first man, which was passed down to every person that is alive today, makes me realize who I am. I was created by God to praise him and to have a personal relationship with him. My cancer story definitely shows God at work in my life and has taught me much more about having a personal relationship with him than anything else I have ever experienced in my life.

It’s so neat to think about the fact that God created a woman just for me to love and care for. In our case I have a wonderful special lady that has become my caregiver for over 17 years as we have fought cancer. I cannot imagine how I would do anything without Debbie!

Yesterday, we were notified that there had been a mistake in the scheduling for my Rituxan treatments. As it turned out I finished the last one last Thursday so today I was able to sit comfortably in my home instead of the cancer center. What a blessing!

Today, final plans were made for the new chemotherapy drug (Revlimid) which I will start on when my radiation treatments are finished. And after today’s treatment I only have five more and I am done!

I can feel things going on inside my body as a result of the treatments. Knowing that they determined the treatments were working and the doctor made adjustments to the area being treated is another blessing. It also helps me focus on the fact that the feelings I have are positive things that will result in me getting into remission again. It seems crazy to feel things and wonder what is happening down there in my lower back because the tumor is being eat alive. Kind of reminds me of the old Pacman game.

Where have I been? Just over 17 years ago I was diagnosed with this cancer and told statistically speaking that I only had 7 to 9 years to survive if the cancer was gotten into remission. I have been told several times since then that I was terminal and didn’t have long to live. Most recently, during a meeting with some medical professionals, I felt like they were giving up on me. I’m not! So with that history, and knowing where my True North is and what I am supposed to be doing — I’m gonna keep on marching down the road I’m on and enjoy every minute of it.

Oh, lest I forget I am retiring at the end of the month and that is something to contemplate. I don’t really want to retire but it’s time for me to move on to something more exciting. Yes, I truly believe I am headed for another great assignment from God to help people.

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