Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Long Overdue Update

First, let me apologize to everyone for not keeping up with the updates. At the end of September, I moved to a new apartment, and couldn't get internet for almost a month. Now that I have it, I will try to keep the updates coming more regularly.

Well, a lot has happened since last time. I had my last chemo-therapy treatment on Oct 31! Thank God that's over with. I have my next PET scan on Nov 26, but the doctors are 99.9% sure it's going to be clear, seeing as how the last scan was clean. That means the cancer is officially in remission! Although I am very fortunate that it wasn't worse than it was, it wasn't a walk in the park. All that time of being sick, upset stomach, being extremely tired, and the little bit of hair loss. Feels like it's been going on for a lot longer than 6 months. But here I am, getting over the last little bit of nausea and fatigue, and looking forward to getting on with my life. Things sure have changed for me though. I definitely have a different outlook on life, which I think is a standard for almost anyone who has survived cancer. I'll go in to details about that later. But when you hear those words "you have cancer", that's one of the most fearful things there is. And it will change your life, whether you like it or not. Lord knows the millions of thoughts that ran through my head. I was scared beyond anything I'd ever felt before. Sure I've been to Kuwait and Saudi Arabia when I was in the military, but there was always some measure of security and safety in that. But with the cancer, you feel completely helpless. Sure there are good doctors and medicine, but that stuff doesn't always work. It was the first time in my life that I ever felt completely defenseless, and it scared the hell out of me. One of those thoughts was that "this is it. My time is up. I guess I've had a good life. Wish it could have been longer though." But that was one of those thoughts that I HAD to get rid of, or else the cancer would have won. And I eventually did. Now looking back, I know that with the grace of God, I have overcome a tremendous hurdle, and that I DO have more life to live. Now's my chance to really make a difference, really make something meaningful of my life. I'm still trying to figure out the details of it all though. What exactly do I do now? What do I strive for? I know a lot of "good" answers, but not the one that's for me. For now, my new goal is to do a charity bicycle ride for the "LiveStrong" foundation. There's going to be a few charity rides in 2008, and that's what I'm focusing on starting now. I know I have a long ways to go, fitness wise, but my goal right now is to do one of those rides. I'll update everyone on the details when I get a better idea of exactly when and where that will be.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all of you who have prayed and supported me through all of this. I know I haven't been in contact with everyone as much as I would like, but please know that I continually think of all of you, and give thanks for you being my friends and providing support. It all really means more than you could imagine. I will make a conscious effort in the next few weeks to get in touch with all of you. God bless every one of you.

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