Recovery

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One of my favorite quotes (and movies) of all time is from ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ when Andy Dufresne tells Red in the prison yard to “Get busy living or get busy dying”.

I recently read an article that stated you beat cancer by how you live, why you live and in the manner in which you live.

No matter the type of treatments you recieve, good or bad, successful or not - living with cancer is a mindset. You learn to see things from a new lens and a different perspective.

Get busy living or get busy dying.

I can tell you that has been incredibly true for me in more than one way.

For example, a person with cancer is often regarded as a warrior, fighter or some other combatant adjective which quite frankly makes me angry. It’s the people standing next to the person with cancer who are the true champions. They deserve the credit. 

Hell, I’m not going to change anyone’s fancy adjectives of what they call cancer patients, but just know you heard it from the horse’s mouth here, it’s not fun to be called those things.

Get busy living or get busy dying.

Living 2,000 miles away from my hometown of Grand Rapids is tough, but when this entire cancer thing got tossed into the mix, well it really just sucked - plain and simple. Knowing your parents, siblings and friends just want to hug and support you, but physically can’t, makes the pain of living with cancer even worse. I’m not a warrior, I’m just a normal guy living life with a disease.

Get busy living or get busy dying.

UPDATE

If you remember, on October 11th I had a 30 day scan to evaluate the progress of the CAR-T cells and if they were doing their job in fighting the cancer. That scan revealed that I was nearly cancer free.

Yesterday, I had my 90 day PET scan to once again evaluate the progress of treatment.

The results were neither good nor bad, but more “neutral” if anything.

Essentially, the cancer from the primary tumor in my chest is still shrinking in size, however a new “spot” has showed up within the the main mass and is increasing in activity.

What does this mean? A few things.

The bad part of this new “spot” is that we don’t know exactly what it is. It could just be inflammation inside my body, it could be the cancer returning or it could just be the CAR-T still doing its job. We don’t know. It could literally be NOTHING to worry about, but we need to wait and see for sure.

The good, and most important thing, is that I am in better shape than I was 60 days ago. I am feeling better each and every day and slowly getting stronger and returning to my normal self. I am planning a trip home to Michigan to see friends and family in the near future and am planning on returning to work on January 7th. Things continue to improve. 

Oh yeah, “winter” in Arizona is pretty spectacular as well. 

MOVING FORWARD

From here, we wait.

In approximately 6 weeks I will have another PET scan to see if the “spot” has decreased in size, remained the same or is growing.

If the “spot” is still the same or smaller, we’ll probably leave it alone and go on our merry way with continued scans and follow up bloodwork as needed. Nothing to fret about.

If the “spot” has grown, it is a definite indication that the cancer has returned and we will get back to the drawing board to figure all of this out. We’re not diving too deep into this option quite yet.

Like I said, living with cancer is a mindset. Although this isn’t the best news in the world, it’s definitely not the worst I’ve received.

Get busy living or get busy dying.

In the meantime, stay in touch, visit again and witness cancer through my lens and keyboard.

Until next time…

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