Sunday, April 19, 2015

An anniversary of sorts

Today is an anniversary of sorts. One not celebrated in a traditional manner of cake and ice cream and friends invited over to celebrate. No, this little anniversary is something I celebrate all by myself and have done so for lo these last nine years. On April 17, 2006 I was originally diagnosed with leukemia. Along with that diagnosis I was given some pretty grim news. Using the standard treatment of the day I was given a survival rate estimation of 10% in five years. What that meant was that 90% of the people who had the specific type of leukemia that I had died before five years came past, regardless of treatment. I didn't think it was a very good set odds, but it was better than the zero odds if I had no treatment.

Chemotherapy is probably one of the most horrendous things a human being can be asked to voluntarily undergo. First all of your hair falls out. And then you feel like you been gang beaten and every muscle in your body aches. Those are the symptoms they tell you about. There are a ton of other symptoms that no one seems to mention and you find out on your own years later. The most annoying of these is the fact that although I have never had an allergy any time in my life to anything, now every spring my sinuses run constantly, my eyes water and itch and most allergy medications provide no relief.

But in my specific case one of the side effects of chemotherapy was a month-long coma brought on by septic shock which resulted ultimately in me losing my left leg my right foot and my lower intestines to the infection it overran my body after chemotherapy completely suppressed my immune system. Also during the septic shock as my vital functions began to shut down my blood pressure was so low that I suffered a couple of strokes that left me paralyzed from the neck down for a period of over two years. At the time the HMO that I belonged to calculated success based on the fact that I was still alive. Something that I learned was a big surprise to almost all of my medical staff.

Currently I'm in the process of adding a new room to my house one that will have a bathroom and a roll in shower that will accommodate my wheelchair. It's estimated completion time is somewhere in the 3 to 4 month range. It is my intention to photo document the building of this room and post pictures here as they occur. Thank you so much for your loyal readership and to those of you who have reached out in friendship. Your kind words of support have been inspirational and very helpful.

1 comment:

Mary@mydogsmygardenandmary said...

So very sorry about your cancer. I do hope that you are getting better. I am so happy that you are getting a new bedroom and bath. Things will be easier for you.
You are always in my prayers for a complete recovery.