Fast forward to a place that allows me to end this long, painful thread with sincere words of encouragement…
I’ve lost track of how many times I almost gave up, but I am so glad that I didn’t succumb to despair.
And I am glad I trusted my doctors.
Although it took some time, the Acalabrutinib (Calquence) started working.
After a week or so, the headaches stopped of their own accord.
Weeks later, I no longer needed the anti-nausea meds.
I eventually weaned myself off the opioids (at least temporarily).
It took months, but those deeply buried lymph nodes shrunk significantly.
It took months, but my leg returned to normal size.
It took seven months, but I eventually had those effing Neph tubes removed.
And here I am today—two and half years later and counting—my CLL being treated quite successfully. Some loss of kidney function, but with a quality of life that allows me to be more than just a cancer patient—that allows me to get up every day and pursue my dreams—a quality of life that made it all worth fighting for.
6 thoughts on “A Cancer Journey: My Leukemia, Part 18”
I appreciate your courage and clarity in telling your story. It is giving me a glimpse of the trials ahead for an old friend who was diagnosed with the big C five or six weeks ago. We’ve known each other for over fifty years; haven’t spent much time together in decades, but we’ve been talking more lately, and he told me that I’m on his “helper list.” I consider that an honor.
So I thank for you for this. I hope you are enjoying music these days.
Thank YOU for the kind words of appreciation and for having the courage to walk with me for a while, Anonymous. So sorry about your friend, but as you said: It is indeed an honor for you to be on his “helper list”.
Not sure why my comments are anonymous (which spellchecker wants to make this word into some variant of Annoying, which I hope it’s not); you and I read one another’s Camino blogs (mine from 2015). Sending you best wishes from the Pacific Northwest.
Message received… thanks for letting me know… All the best on your current travels!
Sheesh. What a rough time. i think it’s good you’re writing this. From my vantage point someone gets cancer, they get treated, and hopefully they get better. The look behind the curtain is grisly. I think that part is mostly swept under the rug. Glad for the education.
Thank you, Jeff, for the uncommon honesty and empathy. Your words are the validation and encouragement I needed at this moment to keep telling my story, no matter how painful, so that others might understand. I count myself among the fortunate few who has the time, energy, and means–and therefore the responsibility–to do so. Thank you, yet again, for having the courage to walk with me for a while.