Last Blog Post… Probably Ever

IMG_0032When things are taken away from you, it becomes very clear what you take for granted. Like eyebrows… man, those little guys did a great job!

Another thing that I’ve taken for granted is minor health anomalies. Now that I’ve had Hodgkin Lymphoma, I’m at a much greater risk for it coming back as a more aggressive form. I feel like every time I get chest congestion, wake up sweaty at night, or lose some weight, it will be impossible not to assume the cancer is back. I’ve become very used to watching my weight fluctuate with no real consequences. I’ve weighed as much as 240 pounds, and as little as 9 pounds 8 ounces, so this is something I’ll have to keep an eye on.

Now I’ve completed 12 successful treatments of chemotherapy in just under 6 months. I’m allowing myself to do a little bit more research on the type of cancer I had. While going through the diagnosis and early stages, I really didn’t want to know all the nitty gritty facts, but now I’m interested. Of all the research I’ve done, this stat really stood out to me. “In 2013, an estimated 9,290 cases of Hodgkin lymphoma were diagnosed in the United States, and 1,180 patients died from their disease. The median age at diagnosis was 38 years” (Cancer Network Home Journal of Oncology)

A little while ago, a friend of mine asked me if I am coming out of cancer treatments with some kind of life altering epiphany. After a bit of thought, I’ve decided that the answer is “yes”, but kind of the opposite of what some might think.

Before my diagnosis, and learning that my cancer could likely be cured, there was about a month and a half where only 1 thing was known. There is a very large, fast growing tumour in my chest. This knowledge lead to a recurring thought that couldn’t be avoided: “Sometimes cancer kills people… What if this kills me?.” Every time this question occurred, my mind always brought me back to the same answer. I found solace in believing that I’ve squeezed more love and joy into my 29 years that many hope to in their entire lives. Of course I was going to fight to my last breath, but if the cancer took me, I’d be able to go with no regrets having lived a great life. This is a thought that I’ll be able carry with me for the rest of my days.

Now that cancer treatments are done, I’ll focus my writing on all the other problems faced by white heterosexual males from upper-middle class two-parent families in Canada.

Just kidding, I’m done.

 

So it goes.

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7 thoughts on “Last Blog Post… Probably Ever

  1. Man, Andrew, I am so glad you are DONE! To think you had odds of one in nine against you is more scary than I’d like to imagine. I’m glad you weren’t thinking about that but rather all the positives and that’s one of the things that pulled you through. I was so appreciative of your effort to keep us in the loop and always adding a nugget to make us smile. Incredible strength and character! Thank you for letting us in and sharing the journey. Congrats on kicking cancer’s ass! Can’t wait to see you this summer!!! xoxoxox

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  2. The new show of solidarity should definitely be going sans brow. Almost as effective at hiding expressions as botox!!

    So glad you have completed your treatments. You are truly so strong, and an inspiration. Not only am proud to call you my friend, but also, proud to say I have witnessed you nearly dominate a pub golf… you didn’t need eyebrows then either big guy. Xo

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  3. Congrats Andrew – we knew you would crush this disease with your indomitable spirit and enthusiasm the same way you approach everything else in life. You’re an inspiration to us all!

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  4. Cancer leaves you feeling vulnerable. You can’t trust your body any more. Routine aches and pains, sniffles, and changes become sources of anxiety–is the cancer back? But time, as always, is the great healer. After a few years you will begin to regain your confidence in your own body. Cancer changes you, there is no doubt about that, but if you are fortunate it, it leaves you more empathetic and more committed to doing good in the world. The next part of your life journey is just beginning, and I believe it is going to be spectacular!

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  5. Congratulations!
    I am happy to read your final post and even happier that this cancer is gone. I will continue to pray for you and your family (I love your sweet mom) that it never finds it’s way back to you.
    Be well Andrew!

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