It’s been a blazing fast five weeks since I got the all clear from Dr. Motzer. Everything that had been put on hold for this cancer battle roared back to the foreground. Work, socializing, normal exercise and activity…they all returned to center stage. On the other hand, cancer stuff (like this blog) were neglected almost immediately.
Not surprisingly, the question I hear the most often is: “how are you feeling?” The answer is that I feel great! My hair is finally back, and I only have one niggling remaining symptom. Otherwise my energy is more or less normal, my fitness level has improved, and I even got some sun. It is/was a big shift going back to work after months off, but it was nice to focus on something else besides my health.
But enough about me. This post is really about all of you.
I really don’t know the words that can express how important all of you were in helping me maintain the right attitude during this whole thing. It’s just something you have to experience to truly understand, although I certainly don’t wish it on anyone. But let me just say this, it is of critical importance and you all delivered it in bountiful quantities.
A few things in particular amazed me. For example, many of you let us know we were in your thoughts and prayers. But not stopping there, many of you mobilized your own personal support networks to think about us and pray for me on your behalf, creating an almost viral and exponentially growing population of supporters. That’s just a powerful feeling to think about; such a large number of united voices working on your behalf. These thoughts absolutely entered my mind during some of the darkest and most difficult times of my treatment.
I do want to mention (in no particular order) just a few more examples that I haven’t blogged about before. (I won’t be mentioning Renee. As I’ve tried to say in other posts, words really can’t describe her contribution to this whole effort. I simply would not have survived without her.)
- Carrie; your gift was awesome. It was useful, creative, personal, beautifully presented, unique, generous. I really felt that you knew me deeply and cared deeply.
- Rachael; you didn’t let the distance slow you down one bit. You did a gazillion things; each one with such care and kindness, but I especially valued the trip you guys made back east to spend at home with us. It was such a lift right when I was in the thick of it.
- Dad; you really threaded the needle each time we were together or spoke; being strong when I needed you to be strong, kind when I needed kindness and provided normality and distraction when I needed that. You just knew what I needed better then I myself did. Amazing.
- Dave Green; perhaps you’re surprised to be mentioned here, but after that worst first week, with chemo, the family stomach bug, and all the other crap, very early on April 11th I checked Facebook. You had posted a clip of “here comes the sun” in response to my status of the night before. I played it and wept like a baby. Deep, cathartic tears alone in my kitchen where I sit again now. At the end of that song the sun rose, literally, and a turning point was reached. From that moment on, my family all started walking out of the dark woods, instead of deeper in. That song is forever representative of that moment, and perfectly so.
- Emi; you made sure to come and see the first time I had cancer and I was miserable from my surgery and then you brought everyone here again the second time around. That and your gift of just the right words whenever I needed them, which was often.
- Mom; you consistently put me first even though you had to be suffering more then you burdened me with during this whole experience. As a dad myself I can guess a bit but I know that wasn’t easy.
- So many came to celebrate, with short notice, in the middle of the busy summer when I got the all clear; that was awesome too.
There are a million more examples, small and large that I could share. When I see any of you, I will be telling you how you personally impacted me, because you all did.
My feeling is that I survived because I have more work to do. I consider part of that work is to rebroadcast to others all the kindness conveyed onto me during the last five months. When I do that, it will be in your honor, for all the support given.
A note on this blog; I will be posting the results of my surveillance for at least for the next two years, but that means posts will be approximately monthly.
I am also changing blog providers. In fact this blog is currently mirrored and in beta at http://diecancerdie.wordpress.com
So please stop by from time to time, but there is certainly no need to check Die Cancer Die more often then that.
(Also, if you’re a twittering type, I have been twittering occasionally since mid-2007 but will be doing so more actively now, on my new account: http://twitter.com/neigere .
I will be following more then tweeting but that’s all the more reason to let me know you’re on twitter.)