I was musing the past couple of days that I am hard upon a six-month anniversary of my stem cell transplant. I have been out now for all that time -- a really good thing! I have not had to return to the hospital and although I have had periods where I did not feel well due to small colds and such (that lasted much longer than my wife's!), but overall I have felt pretty good. I am trying hard to stay healthy, to take my protective medications and wear my mask in large gatherings, to exercise, etc. Further, I have been able to work although not at the pace that I used to. I have been blessed with this extra time.
Yet, this is also the curse. I have discovered that the clock never stops ticking in my head. My wife and I have committed to spending some of our time to work on our "bucket list", including a short visit to Yosemite and a visit with our oldest son if possible at the end of October ahead of a conference I am planning to go to, as well as some other side trips. These moments are precious and valuable....but I have no idea how I will feel. Will I be on chemo? Will I not? (hopefully!) When will I start bone treatments to strengthen my bones? Is the cancer progressing? How quickly? The answers to any and all of these questions are agonizingly difficult to get. We hope to know in the next month, maybe two, if the cancer is stable and fluctuating around 0.5 but there is a chance it is slowly going up, and at some point we will need to take action again.
So this is a part of cancer, that I don't think gets talked about as much. The pain, the suffering, the drive to stay motivated, drawing closer to others and to God - those are fairly well known by most people. But the gnawing stress of uncertainty has never really gone away since my diagnosis. The anniversary of that event is also upon me or has just passed - I didn't really mark it on the calendar. I started chemo in October last year, so I was diagnosed several weeks before that after all of the testing was done. It's not really an anniversary I want to celebrate, at least not at this point. :)
Uncertainty or not, nothing is to be gained by sitting still. I have some time now, so I will love my wife, spend time with my friends and neighbors, and enjoy my time at my work. I thank my Heavenly Father for His love and support, and I thank all of you for your ongoing prayers and love. No matter what the future brings, or when it brings it, I want to know and feel good about the journey I have made.