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A Year in the Life of…

It was on a Wednesday when I got the call.  I remember setting up the call with Space.  I had just gotten back to Tennessee the Sunday before and was making my way back into work.  I was still coughing a bunch and really did not have a lot of energy.  Still I was excited because they finally knew what was wrong.  A year ago on a Wednesday on 13 June 2012 my life changed.  No it was the day my new life started.  It was a year ago today that I got my diagnosis.

Dr. Joanne explained that I had classical Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and I was assured that it was a beatable and I would be kicking it in the ass.  It was so weird.  I had cancer and I was not sure how to take it.  I was relieved because I knew what it was that was wrong with me.  That piece of mind was not enough.  I am not sure which order I told everybody.  I knew my mother and my co-workers were told.  I waited till the Psycho had her birthday before I told her and she took it real well.  I do know that it was 4 days later when I told the world.  In any case, everybody had my back.  One comment of note was “ I can not type the stream of obscenities that just left my mouth”  Thanks for the support Mellissa.

Well with the new life started as a future survivor things took many a different course.  A new diagnosis was the first course correction then learning how to live with constant fatigue was a new thing.  A really new thing.  I had run two marathons in two days and felt more energetic afterwards.  I ran in Reading, PA and Vermont and never felt this kind of fatigue.  Then it crashed when I failed my first chemo regiment and a transplant was in order.  I moved back to the Philly area got a new doctor and started the next course correction.  One course correction almost went off of cliff where I spent a month in the hospital.  My running days were on hold and thus went my sanity.

I lost weight.  I lost a lot of weight.  I was about 230lbs in August.  By January I was 170lbs.  I was eating a 5000 calorie a day diet and was still loosing weight.  I bottomed out at around 165 and started slowly moving up and now at about 195lbs.  If you want to lose weight cancer and chemotherapy may work.  But there are better ways and I must say a well balanced version of Atkins works real well.  Just ask my Space.

I started running again.  It was awesome and it was not.  Really it was awesome.  I was much slower and my endurance was not there.  I had a new body to learn.  I am still learning it.  The best part is I will now spend some time working my core and upper body.  No more of this flabby arms and bulging gut.  I actually fit into some jerseys that I thought I would never fit into.

Way back in July my hair started falling out.  Actually about 11 years ago it started but this time the decision was to just shave it.  5 days later my goatee started falling and it went to.  In October, the head was neglected and crazy hair and a full beard covered my head.  I was passing for a lunatic vagrant which is common place in center city Philadelphia.  It came to a head and I went back to bald in February.  Now I look a little like Ming the Merciless.

It is now a year later.  I have had some ups and some downs.  Now I am higher than I have ever been.  I got a “some kind of remission.” from Doc Weis which is great.  I still have some recovery and my memory is shit from the treatments.  But just as I said I would do, I no we kicked the shit out of this cancer.  What a year.  I cannot wait for the following years.


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