We've waited and waited for this day. Thirteen years to be exact. When my husband John was 36 years old, as most of you know, he was diagnosed with Non Hodgkin's Lymphoma. It was unusual how John's physician, at the time, found the cancer. Dr. Hall was doing surgery for a hernia correction when he found a tumor that happened to be the lymphoma. It was both one of the worst things that could happen during a hernia surgery, yet a real blessing -- if the surgeon hadn't opened John up, he never would have found the tumor and John would have never started to fight the dreadful cancer he had, which, as I stated, was Non Hodgkin's Lymphoma. John had more than one tumor, and was staged at 3B. And the cancer was in his lymph nodes. The surgeon stated that if he had not found the cancerous tumor when he had, John would have been dead within six months.John is in remission from three cancers!
Back 13 years ago, blood cancer doctors (hematologists/oncologists) didn't have a lot of hope for patients with NHL. John was told that even if he was put into remission, he probably wouldn't live. He was advised to be proactive, choose a method of treatment and do everything he could to fight. This would extend his life for only a few years, they said. And this, the hem/oncs (blood cancer doctors), told John, could buy him enough time until enough time for another treatment or cure came along, so that if it happened enough time, John would be able to live.
I have asked John how he could live like this. He has told me, "You do what you got to do. If you were going to die, you would do what you had to do. There was no other option. Everybody keeps calling me brave. An inspiration. I am not an inspiration. All I did was survive."
On the contrary, I believe John is an inspiration. I'm not sure I wouldn't have gotten depressed and quit. I'm not sure I would've been able to last the 13 years, before I was declared OK, and worked so hard. But then again, you never know. As John says, "You do what you have to do."
Okay, this post has gotten long, so I am going to finish it tomorrow. I hope you come back to read the rest. Meanwhile, I've got a question for you:
I think John was an inspiration. I think the fact he did work hard to survive is an inspiration. I think he did "more than survive" and he's a true hero, trying and trying, until he finally got into remission. I will explain how his remission, and how Dr Claxton is actually calling it a "cure", came 13 years later, in the next post or two. But for now, I want to ask you this:
Did John just do what he had to do? Or is he an inspiration to you? Just wondering. I am going to be showing him the answers!