Well it's been a big week for KD so far and it's only Tuesday.
He started back at work on Monday. Yep, he was a bit nervous. It's been six months. He wasn't sure what to expect. To start off with, his digital time card rejected him. Not a good sign, right?
It was interesting how many people didn't recognize him without his signature long black hair. He does look totally different. To be fair he was also NOT wearing a black t-shirt. He had a checked cotton button-down shirt instead. Jeans, and brown shoes even. Not bit of black on him at all. I know right? Must be the medication!
The other big deal was today at the clinic, they actually took out his PICC line. This is the tube that went up through his arm and ended in a major artery near his heart. Ideal for taking blood, giving injections, and having chemo drips. Well, that sucker is gone :-)
There's a two week down time before he goes in to see Dr. May, the original admitting doctor who's been overseeing KD's progress from a distance. By then they will know from his blood counts how well his body is bouncing back. If it's spectacular, he may go right into maintenance. If it needs a little help, they'll have him finish the last month of this chemo cycle.
But the long and short of it is that KDs a squeak away from being officially in maintenance, which is like a half-way house for cancer. If he goes another 18 months on maintenance without a hint of relapse, then he's officially cured (more or less).
Now he's looking for books and blogs on life after cancer. But there seems to be only two attitudes out there. The 'survivors' who are always clinging to their cancer as something that defines who they are, and the silent who want nothing more than to move on and forget they ever had it.
Can't there be a middle ground? A balance? It seems to me that getting through cancer has a lot to do with having a balance throughout. Some serious, but some silly. Some acceptance of the shortness of life, but more determination not to go gracefully. The ability to embrace the experience as inevitable, but also the strength to not get pulled down under it.
Sure, there were bad days and scary times to wait for news and moments when even good news was crappy. But overall KD survived cancer, and survived chemo, because he was able to keep his balance. With grace, strength, and and an irreverent humor about the whole process.
A few more updates as we clear these last few hurdles, and then I may have to hang up this blog. It will be nice to not need this anymore. :-)