Sharon and I met with my oncologist, Dr. Nasfat Shehadeh this morning and received the news that my Lymphoma is in complete remission!!! The recent bone marrow test came out negative and as Dr. Shehadeh told us, we got "a complete response." We are thrilled with the news and are anxious to get on with life.
The next step is that I will have blood tests every 6-8 weeks and possibly a CAT scan every 4-6 months. I also need to continually check for enlargement of the lymph nodes on my neck, abdomen and groin. Sharon has graciously consented to check for lumps on a regular basis.
I want to express our love and appreciation to everyone who has been so loving and supportive of mom and I this past year. It's been a real journey. You kids have been the greatest, always being there to help out with the stuff that I was unable to do. Our sweet grandchildren have been a great strength and source of joy to both of us. Everyone has been just fantastic and I want you all to know how much it has meant to us.
I know that it isn't over. The cancer isn't cured, just in remission. People who have had the same cancer, with the same treatment that I just completed have been in remission as long as 5-7 years. I expect that someday it will come back and then I will be looking at a bone marrow transplant, but until that happens, we will move forward. Maybe in the meantime, there will be a cure or at least an alternative to a transplant. We can only hope and pray.
I have been truly fortunate to have been treated by the best in the business. Dr. Shehadeh is amazing. His PA, Mike Cole has been the greatest.
Then there is Charlotte, my chemo nurse, Mary, the phlebotomist, Trevor, Sarah and Ricky the MA's that I have worked with, and the two ladies at the front desk, Beverly and Stephanie (who has used all of my co-pays to fill her closet with new shoes). All have been great examples of professionalism and compassion.
FINALLY, I NEED TO THANK MY SWEET WIFE AND COMPANION FOR PUTTING UP WITH ME AND HELPING ME THROUGH THIS YEAR. ALWAYS HAVING HER OWN HEALTH ISSUES TO DEAL WITH, SHE HAS BEEN THERE FOR ME EVERY STEP OF THE WAY AND HAS SHOWN ME WHAT TRUE CHRIST-LIKE COMPASSION IS. BEING THE "TOUGH GUY" THAT I TRY TO BE, I HAVE LEARNED A GREAT LESSON ON WHAT IT MEANS TO PUT OTHERS' NEEDS AHEAD OF YOUR OWN. I HOPE THAT I CAN BE A MORE COMPASSIONATE AND CARING PERSON IN THE FUTURE.
With that said.......LET'S PARTY!!!!!