Yep, I’m Still Hanging Out
It’s kind of an odd paradox I’m in. On one hand, I feel good and everything is going well. I’m able to spend time with the kids and do things I couldn’t do over the summer. You would think I’d want this time to last. But on the other hand, without further treatment, my cancer will come back. Not may come back, but will come back. Guaranteed. Take it to the bank. So I need further treatment. And further treatment means this time of feeling good must come to an end.
So the hard part is knowing I need further treatment and knowing I have to wait. Acute leukemia patients aren’t used to waiting. In many cancers you have to wait for an appointment. Wait for a PET or MRI. Wait for results. With leukemia you can get a quick blood draw, see your life flash before your eyes, and then move on to treatment. If you don’t move on, you’ll be dead in weeks, so it’s usually best if you do. I know my time is coming, so I’m trying to enjoy my current state. But truth be told, I’d rather just be admitted tomorrow and start the SCT process.
I’m Voting Democrat
I probably should preface this by reminding you that I’m sarcastic and some of the stuff I say is purely for fun. So if you’re a sensitive liberal, you will be happy to know I’m voting for your candidate, although you might be offended by the reasons. As I see it, someone like me has to vote democrat. You see, I have hit my out of pocket maximum so I’m essentially getting free healthcare. I’ve qualified for Social Security Disability, thus as of January part of our living expenses will be paid for by the government. I’m also not working. Free healthcare, no job and living on the government dole is the holy grail of the democrat dream for our society, thus my hand has been forced. There’s no way a guy in my situation can vote republican or libertarian. I’m ready to embrace my new found party, so here’s to Hillary in 2016!
Rob, You’re a Big Baby
I found out something interesting the other day. I knew I’d be getting Dom’s immune system (quick recap, Dom is what I’m calling my donor). I also thought that meant I’d be getting whatever protections and vaccinations Dom has had over his lifetime. Apparently that isn’t the case. I will get his immune system, but none of his vaccinations will transfer in the process. Now I’m sure Dr. Nelson could give a very informative explanation on why they don’t transfer, but it would go over all of our heads. So let me just sum it up by saying I have to get all my vaccinations all over again. Just like I was a newborn baby, I’ll be put on a regimen of shots over a certain period of time. So Rubella, Measles, Mumps, Polio, etc. I get em all. One thing I haven’t gotten an answer to yet is whether I get the chicken pox vaccine. I had chicken pox when I was young, but I assume that will be wiped out to. Guess I need to ask Dr. Nelson.
The Herd Mentality
I’ve never really had any skin in the vaccination game. I’m vaccinated, Lindsey is vaccinated, the kids are vaccinated. So it seems I’ve always been safe in my own little vaccinated world. But I’m soon to be exposed to what I’ve seen on TV. That the safety of vaccinations is in how many people are vaccinated. Basically if almost everyone is vaccinated, then we have “Herd Immunity” where vulnerable people like me can be safe. The more people who choose not to get vaccinations or not to vaccinate their children put immunosuppressed people like myself at risk. It’s interesting to now be a part of something that is such a hot national debate at times. I’m going to do my best to stay inside this winter, and once I have my shots I’ll be safe. But until that time, my message/plea to you is please be vaccinated and have your children vaccinated. Science backs up the safety of vaccines. Quite frankly, my life may depend on your decision.
Life is filled with many difficult decisions. Once you have cancer, those decisions seem to multiply. Is this the right facility? Is this the right doctor? Is this the right treatment? These are literally life and death decisions on almost a daily basis. You’d think an onslaught of complex medical decisions would get easier over time, but it doesn’t. Just the other day I was facing a major decision. Do I go with the more expensive option that has a better outcome? Or do I choose the cheaper option where the outcomes aren’t as great. How exactly do you decide in these situations? Do you pay what you can afford and what will save you money but risk the chance of a poorer outcome than the more expensive option? Or do you splurge for the higher price knowing that if works, you’ll be so much better off. I’m here to say the decision isn’t always easy. Thankfully I have decent insurance and that usually means I can choose the best option. In this particular case however, insurance wouldn’t cover this decision. I was totally on my own and the financial consequences would be borne by me alone. With the pressure of my choice on my shoulders, I ended up walking out of Meijer with a $1 Mega Millions ticket instead of the more expensive $2 Powerball ticket. The outcome of winning Mega Millions isn’t nearly as much money as Powerball, but I think I can survive even on a lesser outcome of $50 million.
A Duck Dynasty Prayer
I don’t like cancer. I don’t like seeing friends and family go through cancer. And I most certainly don’t like going through cancer myself. Be with all of us God. We all have something to battle. Whether our cancer is an uncontrolled growth of cells or our “cancer” is something else like a disagreeable ex-spouse, trouble at work, financial issues, or a multitude of other things. There is always something in life that will cause us trouble, anxiety, and illness. Be with us through these battles. Let us come out stronger on the other side. Let us be examples of you in how we deal with these cancers. Let us not forget that you created us. You love us. And you WILL deliver us. Thank you for another day.