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Sunday, September 30, 2007

Tomorrow: Day 40

Flowers always make people better, happier and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine to the soul. — Luther Burbank

LINK: PQ - The People Quotient

An estimated 135,520 people in the United States will be diagnosed with leukemia, lymphoma or myeloma in 2007. New cases of leukemia, Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma and myeloma account for 9.4 percent of the 1,444,920 new cancer cases diagnosed in the United States this year.

As I have noted before, mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) represents less than 10 percent of these cases and my particular form (the aggressive blastoid type) of this disease is a much smaller percentage.

For these reasons (and more), I have to be very grateful for the progress that has been made in my treatment and for the wonders of modern medical science. Less than 20 months from the onset of the disease, I am on the way to recovery following the allogeneic stem cell transplant (SCT) from an unrelated donor.

I guess my current status was best summed up Friday by my oncologist at City of Hope, Dr. Nakamura, who said: "You have exceeded my expectations at this time." Of course, the whole journey to full recovery still has weeks or months to last. And as with all cancer patients, there is the lifelong question: Will the cancer return?

However, given that the doctors gave a ten percent chance for the SCT to be successful in my case, what more can I ask?

Every case is different, we know. But in addition to seeking good doctors and hospitals that specialize in the treatment of cancer, what every cancer patient can do for themselves is muster the most positive attitude that rests on faith, hope, and love (the loved ones who support and surround us with care and a caring God whom we know is omnipresent ... He never leaves us). These are the things that have sustained me since the onset of my MCL in March 2006.

Not one of us knows the time allowed us on this earth, but having cancer makes one realize that every day is precious and we can do nothing more than live "one day at a time." Sounds trite, but it is the truth.

1 comment:

Susan Carrier said...

Your post reminds me of a Japanese Garden I just toured in Pasadena. The garden embodied the "hide and reveal" practice that forces the stroller to focus on the part of the garden in his vision. I always want to see the whole garden at one time, and that can be a problem.

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