Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Three Years and Counting

First, the medical news: I've entered my 7th month of this latest chemo regime, but fortunately my dosage continues to be reduced to a maintenance level--once a week. Cancer levels (those notorious IGGs) are only measured every 5 to 6 weeks and I won't have new numbers for another 2 1/2 weeks. Aside from the fatigue and the steroid roller coaster I'm doing fine. I've certainly felt worse!

This Easter Sunday will mark the 3 year "anniversary" of my multiple myeloma diagnosis. This milepost is one of many that I set for myself as I began my treatment, including Julia's high school graduation, Catherine's college graduation, Susan and my 25th wedding anniversary, and 1, 2 and now 3 years of survival. Oh yes, there are many more. I'm sure this is typical of people with diagnoses like mine. We don't want to miss those important events in our loved ones' lives. So we're not only counting the years and mileposts met, but we're also counting the blessings we've received.

As I reflect back on these past 3 years, my most overwhelming thought and emotion is gratitude. I know I speak for Susan, Catherine and Julia when I say we are so deeply grateful to our family and our many friends who have loved and supported us. (that's all of you!). We have derived great strength from you. You have lifted us up during our darkest hours and you continue to keep us afloat. We embrace you and thank you for teaching us the true meaning of love, compassion and friendship. I admit that I am not sure I would have learned this very important life lesson without this nasty cancer. The lessons have been profound and humbling. Life has opened to us in ways we never could have imagined. At times I marvel, not at the fact that I am still alive, but that, in the midst of what appears to be great trauma, we are so happy. This 3 year anniversary appropriately falls on the feast of Easter, the Resurrection. Today we celebrate our new life. For all of you we send our wish for a very Happy Easter, as you have certainly given that gift to us.


With much love and gratitude,

Dan

4 comments:

Ingrid said...

I got on the blog with the purpose of hopefully being the first one to wish you a HAPPY EASTER, Frohe Ostern, Buona Pasqua, leaving the french wish to Sigun, and indeed here I am.

Yes, I am sooooo far away counting miles, but in my heart I am as close as I can be.

Since the very first moment of your diagnosis I KNEW, don't ask me how or why, but I knew that you would make it.

And YOU say that you are grateful for us, being or trying to be close to you, trying to show you the love we all feel for you?
Well, I hope you see also that it is thanks to what kind of person YOU ARE that we are so blessed to know you. It is YOU the great person here, not us.
It is YOU who teaches the great lessons, not us.

And it is us who are thankful that you open your arms to us, instead of closing yourself inside your house.

This blog of you is again a confirmation for me, that you finally KNOW that you deal with a chronical disease. YOUR ressurection happened the day, when you changed in your mind how to look at this disease, how to deal with it.
And every anniversary is a sad one, but just like you say, also one that fills you with pride, for still being here, and still so well. This pride is unique and makes a lot of difference.

I love you and Susan, and I miss you both!
Big hug,
Ingrid

George said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
George said...

Hi Dan,

What a wonderful milestone! I always enjoy your insights and chronicles of the chronic especially when you are so articulate and retain your sense of humor. Woody seems to be slipping a bit along with Art Link, and Ed is facing shoulder surgery. We all are moving into the future. Much love to you and Susan and Catherine and Julia. Happy Easter!

Bye, George

Big Frank Dickinson said...

Dan,
I like the "and counting".

As Neal Young put it:

"Long may you run.
Long may you run.
Although these changes have come
With your chrome heart shining in the sun
Long may you run."

Love,

Tom