Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Battle Scars

Like many cancer survivors, my personal battle with M.A.L.T Lymphoma lasted for roughly 16 months. When I was first diagnosed, many of the tests and scans that were ordered revealed a more systemic disease than earlier diagnosed.Clearly put, I had been treating the cancer under the guise of several minor ailments. A cough that would not go away, a sinus infection that persisted for months and a full body soreness that I couldn't quite shake. In retrospect, all of these systems indicated a failing immune system. One day as at my pulmonologists office with a suspected fungal infection of the lungs, then after a biopsy uncovered lymphatic tissue throughout both lobes, I found myself slingshot into the world of stage four cancer. One thing that I've noticed about this disease was that never once has it behaved in a civil manner. It just moved right in and drank every last bit of my soda. It was the typical example of a guest from hell. Early on I decided to take this on as a ministy experience and began chemo therapy with the vigor of a fraternity boy. Although the chemo worked well to erase the disease from my body, I believe that the chemical onslaught claimed more of me than just unhealthy cells. To this day I am still trying to piece the puzzle that was once my body, mind and spirit into an intelligable balance. I have an indwelling port that resides just under the skin of my right pectoral muscle, my bones ache more often than not and I find that I really have play close attention to the words that escape from lips, as they are no longer able to exit without first editing them. But on the half full side, my breathing is better, the pain from swollen lymph nodes is gone, and I'm starting to feel pockets of joy as the gap between treatment and survival widens.In future blogs I will briefly touch on specific experiences and hopefully I will gleen some wisdom that may serve you should you ever be faced with this challenge. So remember to check back often and keep a notebook handy should any questions arise. I may not have all of the answers, but I know where you can find them. If you're just starting off on this journey, one thing you can do is to pay close attention to water and nutrition. Stay true and it will serve you well. More later. Until next time remember, God loves you and so do I!



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