May 17, 2006
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Five years ago today, I was preparing to go to IU Med Center in Indianapolis for a bone marrow transplant and just finishing grading student portfolios for the spring semester. I hadn't yet read Lance Armstrong's It's Not About the Bike, so I didn't quite realize that he grew up the next town over from me, although I vaguely remembered reading about him in the local papers and my mom asking me why I didn't do something cool like that. Of course, my answer was, because you won't let me ride my bike more than six blocks away, but that's a side issue.

All I knew was that I thought I had beat the cancer with the first go-round of chemo. Even though I was undiagnosed for two year and had just hit stage IV when I was finally diagnosed (by a MedPoint doctor, no less ... my regular doctor missed the cancer for two solid years ... he never ran a blood test), I was sure that one six month round of chemo was enough to knock that silly Cancer Lite out of my system.

I was stunned when it came back. I was supposed to go to an awards ceremony for one of my students who had won a writing award the evening I got the news that the Hodgkins had returned. All I could think about the bone marrow transplant was what I knew from having read Eric waaaay back in junior high. Bone marrow transplant did not sound fun.

However, the bone marrow transplant procedure had changed a lot since Eric's day and I drove the nurses crazy ... because I actually felt good and had more energy than someone on the BMT ward is supposed to have. I walked ... paced actually ... around the ward five or six times a day. I wanted OUT. I wanted to go outside ... it was summer. I wanted away from the hideous hospital food.

It's been almost five years now since the bone marrow transplant. Five years and my life has changed so much ... not because of the cancer, but just because life is life and always changing.

As far as I'm concerned, SuperChemoGirl has kicked cancer's butt. Here's to the five year anniversary ... and the ten ... and the 15 and the 20 ... and the 30 ... the 40 ... the 50 year anniversary.

People ask me all the time now ... how are you doing? How are you feeling? You all right?
And I'm always confused when they do. Because despite my LiveSTRONG bracelet, I forget that I even had cancer.


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Posted by Red Monkey at May 17, 2006 7:35 AM | Struggles | | StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble |


blueyes said:

That's wonderful news your doing so well and hopefully you will continue to do well from now until you die :) The kids I see here after a BMT don't have the energy you described but once they get going there's no stopping them!

May 17, 2006 6:53 AM


red said:

Way to go ender! Life is for living, keep on doing that. I am proud for you and of you! Hope I'm around to wish you the same on the 10th. :O)

May 17, 2006 8:01 PM
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