Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Complete Remission

Today, there are no sweeter words to my ears.

As I've written before, my Dad lives with cancer. Multiple Myeloma to be specific.

It doesn't rule his life... not by a long shot. And so in turn, it doesn't rule ours.

But it's there. The knowledge that my Dad lives with cancer is always there.

His life is filled with joy, laughter, grandchildren, friends and adventures. It's also filled with chemotherapy- years of chemotherapy, numerous medications, daily shots, and more bone marrow biopsies than I can even count at this point. I think he's lost count too. There are times he can't visit because his counts are too low and his immune system is too weak. There have been bone marrow transplants, scary time periods, and the time he came out of remission.

I remember everything about the hospital room we were sitting in when he told me he had cancer back in 2005. I remember every detail and how carefully he chose his words. He knew I wasn't going to like this news, not by a long shot. I'll also never forget where I was sitting or what he was wearing when he told me that he'd come out of remission and faced yet another bone marrow transplant and another two years of chemo. We were all at the beach, on vacation. We talked about it and then enjoyed the rest of our trip. Just like always, cancer was there, but it didn't rule our lives. Not even close. If anything, it's reminded us to be grateful of time spent together. Every bit of it.

Yes, cancer is a part of our family life. And if my Dad can somehow make peace with that, well, then I can too.

I truly have.

But every three months we wait with bated breath to hear where his cancer levels are at.

This morning we were just leaving the farmer's market when I got the news via a text message sent to all of us.

Complete remission.

And just like that I relax again.

Complete remission. 

Sweet words indeed.


Kathryn Biel said...

Wonderful, wonderful news. So happy for all of you!

Erin said...

YAY REMISSION!!!!!!!!!!!

I remember all too clearly where I was when my husband told me my Dad had cancer. We went to Michigan for Christmas and when we got there, we did our usual hugs and hellos and asking how everyone was. My dad said "I'm not great, really. I've had this pain in my side for a while and they found a tumor." I thought he was messing with me, because he does that sometimes, though not with things of this seriousness, so I looked at my stepmom and she was nodding along. Oh. God.

The next day I came home from something (running an errand? I can't remember) and my dad was on the phone with his doctor. My husband said that the results of the scan Dad had earlier were in and the tumor was cancer. It was on his spleen and we were going to see an oncologist the next day. I went with my dad & stepmom to the oncologist and Dad had a tumor that had completely engulfed his spleen, pushed his stomach up behind his heart AND partially collapsed his left lung. The tumor was the size of a Nerf football. He was admitted to the hospital straight from that appointment so that they could get a chemotherapy port inserted and start him on chemo immediately, as well as help him stop hurting quite so much.

The good news is that was nearly 3 years ago. Dad is now 100% cured of his non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. We couldn't be more thankful that he made it through so well.

Amy said...

Wonderful news indeed. Your dad is so full of life and has so many more memories to give your boys. I am incredibly happy for you all. Please send him my best.