Tonight I would like to introduce to you one of my best friend, John Hart, who had to go through something I never want to see again. John handled the whole process amazingly and now is in his 12 year of remission. John was very sick for most of the time and lost a lot of weight, and hair! But looked good no matter what.
Here at PLH, we talk about chronic pain a lot but what about the medical issues that last 1 – 2 years and pain comes and goes. John explains here what his Pain, Love , and Hope was during that difficult time! Thank you John for sharing!
Hi, Lisa asked if I could be a guest writer for her blog to, describe my cancer experience (Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2003-2004). She asked if I could have it done by the beginning of June. Well, obviously I missed my deadline by quite a bit. I think the main reason is writer’s block- I have so many thoughts and emotions from that time of my life it’s been hard to narrow it down into something concise enough for the blog. So what I thought to do is use her title as a guide because it really summarizes my feelings at the time.
Pain: What are these damn lumps on my neck? Why am I losing all this weight? Why can’t I catch my breath? Why am I throwing up eggos?? I made every excuse in the world to not go see a doctor to avoid hearing the inevitable news that I was going to die. When I finally did I literally felt like I was walking the plank. My primary doctor took one look at me and put his arm around me and said from this point forward you are our most important patient. I mean that’s nice and all but talk about scaring someone sh*tless. Within a couple hours I was meeting with an oncologist who had me on an IV that day to work on the severe infection I had due to the cancer. The next week was test after test to determine the type and stage of the cancer, the worst being a bone marrow biopsy. I had to put my fist into the wall to keep from screaming. That feeling, waiting for the results, is something that is hard to describe. I just wanted to run, be alone in my cave and give up without a fight.
Love: Alone was the last thing I was going to be. From my first chemo appointment to my last PET scan, someone there with me. On my worst day, the day I had to have a transfusion in order to get my regular dose of chemo, Lisa, her mother Nancy and their pastor from church stayed with me the entire day to give me support. It was 2 days before Christmas so I know how much of a sacrifice that was for them to be there. My dad, mom and sister all took time out of their lives to fly in and spend time with me. I heard from family members I hadn’t heard from since childhood. My best friend Ric sent me a great care package and asked that I be his best man in his wedding after my treatment was over. And don’t get me started on the quality of care and compassion from the doctors and nurses at Porter. I was blown away at the support I received from everyone through this. I will never forget it.
Hope: I have to admit I was dealing with serious depression before and after my diagnose, I was really questioning whether I wanted to live. But, over time, truly seeing the real possibility of dying, I started to get excited about my life again. I wanted to be there for my best friend at his wedding. I wanted to be there if my sister ever got married (she did). I wanted to run a marathon (I did). To see the Longhorns win a national championship (they did) The list goes on forever. Every day I appreciate something new and feel blessed to be able to see and experience it.
Thank you Lisa for letting me contribute to your blog 🙂