I had intended to use this entry as the first installment of my The Next Big Thing casting series, but being that my first big follow-up with the doctor was today concerning my mycosis fungoides diagnosis, I thought this entry would be better served letting people know how I was doing.
There’s good news, and there’s news that’s still not necessarily bad, but nonetheless not fun. First, the good news! The treatments I’ve been taking have been working very, very well, and there’s no reason to believe that this cancer won’t be defeated entirely. As I’d mentioned in the first entry, mycosis fungoides is incurable unless caught very early. We believe that may have been the case with me. All signs are pointing to this thing being defeated entirely.
The not fun news is that I’ll still have to be on chemotherapy for at least 2-3 months. By far, chemo is the worst part of this process. Though it’s just a once-a-week pill (methotrexate, for those curious), it still has a flurry of cruddy side effects, including nausea, headaches, and dizziness. It’s definitely not a picker-upper, and I’ve already had to leave work once (and miss a day) because of it. But, if the pills are necessary, they’re just necessary. It’s a take-no-chances kind of thing. I will happily endure the side effects of chemo pills if it means wiping out this cancer for good. So like I said, it’s not fun news, but it’s not necessarily bad. It’s just part of the process.
There’s something else I want to touch on here, and it’s something that comes just as much from my wife as it does me. We have both been completely humbled, and completely floored by the amount of support we’ve received. I’m serious. It’s overwhelming. Since this diagnosis, we’ve had our grass cut, meals delivered, donations given, none of which we asked for. That doesn’t even take into account the incredible amount of prayers and well-wishes that have been sent our way. This has been completely amazing. From the outset, we’ve wanted to use this cancer in a positive way for others – I can honestly say, this has been a hugely positive development for us. The support we’ve seen given to us (for which we both feel undeserving) has been life-affecting. It makes us want to be better people. From the bottom of both our hearts, thank you.
I’m going to be fine. The big toll of this (chemo aside) has been purely emotional and psychological. I don’t “feel” this cancer. It doesn’t slow me down. It just lingers in my thoughts. It’s very sobering to come to grips with your own mortality at age thirty-one. Even though this isn’t a cancer that’s going to kill me, the question has often arisen in my brain, why was it it mycosis fungoides? What made it that and not pancreatic cancer, or advanced prostate, or something in my brain? Did I just draw a lucky straw? It makes you realize that as healthy as you think you are, life can pick you in a heartbeat. It can give you something you’ve never imagined and force you to deal with it. I’ve had the thought more than just a few times, “It’s great that I’ll beat this, but what might come next?” Those thoughts are poison, but hey, I’m human. The key is faith. I’m working on it. I’m getting there. The encouragement, prayers, and support I’ve received have gone a tremendous way in reminding us that enough though times are tough, we are never forsaken. We’re never not beloved by God. And that has been a gift far more valuable to us than any cancer could be detrimental.
So again, thank you all, so very, very, very much. This has been incredible. I look forward to enduring these next couple months and having this chapter of life behind me. Not forgotten. But behind me.
Stay tuned for tomorrow, when the first of the The Next Big Thing casting entries gets posted! I’m excited about sharing these and about putting my mental focus somewhere else. It’s going to be fun.