Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone, sorry for the delay since discharge.  As many of you know Christmas came a few days early for me in 2010, when on Wednesday the 22nd I was discharged from my 6th and final round of chemotherapy treatment.  The last cycle went really well and my family and I are just so thankful that it is all over and we can move on to the next stage of the treatment plan.

As I look back on the 38 days I spent in the hospital since Labor Day Weekend, I really can't believe the end came so quickly.  I can remember when I was about to be admitted for my first cycle, thinking man Christmas seems so far off in the future.  I can honestly say that without such great family, friends, and coworkers, this journey would have been that much more difficult and lonely.

During this last treatment I was approached by the nursing staff to spend some time with another young sarcoma patient.  There was a young man on my floor who was having a lot of problems with both the physical and mental aspects of chemo.  He lived over 2 hours from Emory and his family couldn't afford to take off work days, so he spent a lot his treatment alone in his room wondering what would become of him after all of this.  On Monday when I first talked to him it was one of the most sobbering things I've seen since beginning treatment.  The poor kid had lost probably 75 pounds and was fighting back tears as we made small talk.  I realized during this how fortunate I  have been not only for the way my body has reacted to the treatments, but also how I have had so much help mitigating the emotional/mental aspects as well.

As we continued to visit you could see his spirits improve, and over the next few days he would come over and just hang out in my room to avoid being all alone, which I was happy to cater to.  The good news is like in my case, his treatment was actually proceeding quite well, and his chances of being back to normal come summer are as good as mine.  When I think about him now I am reminded how lucky I am, but also how even the little things (like just lettting him sit in my room in silence) can make all the difference for a lonely patient.  When I said farewell on Wednesday I promised him I would visit during his next cycle, so hopefully I can continue to help him where I can as he fights this tough battle.

It is fitting that the end of chemo coincides with the end of 2010, so I can close the book on both and look to a new start in 2011.  Radiation is going to start on January 6, so for 25 weekdays after that I will basically have the equivalent of a dental cleaning every morning.  When compared to nearly 40 days and nights of hospital time, that seems like a piece of cake, but what do I know right?

Merry Christmas again to everyone, and thank you all so much for playing such a huge roll in my fight against sarcoma.  I really mean it when I say I couldn't have gotten to this point without all your support!


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  2. Michael, you are proud of you! also glad you are able to pay it forward to help someone who needs you very much. Happy New Year!
    Debbie Teator