Sorry I haven't done a proper entry since John and I came back from Hershey Medical Center Cancer Clinic. I wanted to give you the latest news we learned in Hershey about John. But as you know, my husband also has a journal, and I wanted to let him go first with the news, as it is his story to tell. But now that John has done an entry in his journal, I'll come out with the news.
John doesn't have kidney cancer.
Dr. Claxton is sure. John has had several tests, and it's conclusive that John does NOT have kidney cancer. I told Dr. Claxton that I was perplexed, and wondered why the local doctor would imply that John could have it. He said he didn't know why his local doctor made such a wrong diagnosis. He also said that we should stop being concerned about it, and told John to "go home and enjoy life".
He also told John he could join the gym with me. That should really be fun.
This really surprised me because John once again, as of late, has almost no immune system. He is getting so much better in so many ways, but for some reason, his neutrophil count is not improving. He has to be careful in so many ways.
He can't eat fresh fruits and vegetables. Nor can he eat at buffets. He can't touch dirt. Technically, he is not supposed to go to the gym either, but I guess it is okay if he wears his mask, and washes his hands afterwards. When he is neutropenic (when his immune system is severely low) he has to wear his mask outside all the time.
Strangely enough, he almost never has caught anything while his immune system is compromised. His oncologist has no explanation for this.
So how am I feeling? Extremely relieved John doesn't have another cancer. And relieved that he doesn't easily catch things even though his immune system is compromised. How else am I feeling? I am still struggling with just "going home and enjoying life". It's hard. Especially after you have gone through a lot. Many don't understand this. It is not so easy to just switch gears. I know it will get easier with time. However, once you have gone through what John and I have gone through, you are never the same. You have to come to terms with what happened, what you saw, what you experienced. Nothing is ever the same again. You have to begin, what post bone marrow transplant survivors call, a "new normal".
You have to start all over again. You have new beliefs. You deal with your mortality and that of others. You think about those who have passed. You mourn for them. You wonder why you or your loved one made it and somebody else didn't.
You are tired enough to sleep for 50 years. You have so much in your mind to debrief from that you could talk for 50 years. You try to decide between sleeping and talking. If you had time you would choose sleeping, but constant doctor's appointments win out.
Fear of coming out of remission is constant.
You wonder who your real friends are. Many just want something from you. Many old friends are gone. Sometimes family is often not heard from again. On the other hand, new loyal friends suddenly come into your life.
Your life is an emotional roller coaster.
You wonder when you can hear the word Cancer again without crying.
You worry about the effects of chemo brain on you or your loved one.
You wish there was someone who was open enough to share with you, who has gone through what you have, if only to debrief to.
You wish you weren't so anxious and hyper vigilant.
Your relationship with God changes. Hopefully for the better. In my case for the better. I really do trust Him more.
Okay, I just took a break, and considered erasing this whole entry, except for a blurb that would read "John doesn't have kidney cancer, praise God!". And that's true, he doesn't. And I guess I should be grateful and that is it. But I still do have these things I am dealing with. Maybe I will be able to handle them better soon, as soon as I deal with them head on. I am tempted to delete this entry but I guess I will leave it in.
I just wanted to get some of this off of my chest, let you know how I am doing.
I truly AM thankful John's kidney cancer is gone. Praise God for that!