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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Milestone

Thank you all for your kind comments on my post yesterday. I appreciate all of your well wishes and support more than you know. I wish I had known you all back when my husband got sick. I was blogging then, but had very few followers and had yet to meet most (all?) of you in late 2011/early 2012. It would have been a wonderful source of support during the darkest time of my life. At times I felt very, very alone in those days.

I didn't want to mention this yesterday until Gregg got the "all clear"....but it was exactly 5 years ago that he got his cancer diagnosis. That means he's passed what I consider a very important milestone, and one I secretly feared he would never see. The 5-year survival rate for stage 3B lung cancer is a dismal 5%. I found that statistic early on and nearly despaired. My husband is a lucky, lucky man. Lucky to have as a long-time personal friend the head pulmonary specialist at McLeod hospital here in Florence, who pulled out all the stops to get the cancer treated quickly and aggressively by the best doctors, surgeons, and oncologists in the area. Lucky that he was relatively young and in good health (except for the giant tumor in his left lung, of course) and could stand an aggressive course of treatment. Lucky to have good health care insurance that paved the way for any and all tests and treatments to be done immediately. He may have lost an entire lung, and chemotherapy was hell, but he's here today and healthy. Nothing could be luckier than that!

I expected yesterday to feel momentous, but it was strangely anticlimactic. The oncologist didn't even mention the 5 year thing. Gregg will still be on a 6 month follow up schedule, at least for now, because they made an appointment for next June. After seeing the doctor yesterday, he went back to work and it was just a regular day. When I mentioned the milestone to him last night, he kind of shrugged it off and changed the subject. It didn't feel all that momentous to him.

But to me, it feels like a miracle.

28 comments:

  1. Just catching up. Best friend was visiting and I let reading my blogs go.
    I am tearing up over the worrying times you have been going through. Cancer is so arbitrary it will attack one person and leave another alone.
    I wish I knew you wonderful blog friend 5 years ago.
    Lighting a candle for you both today and sending all hugs and best wishes on to you.

    cheers, gayle

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  2. Your husband sounds a wonderful person like you Jennifer.

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    1. I think he's pretty special! He's my love. :)

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  3. Gregg is a very fortunate man - to have had you by his side through the last five years. Here's to the next five years. You will be celebrating that milestone before you know it Jennifer.

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  4. You mind may have prepared for bad news and hence the feeling of flatness rather than joyous relief. No matter, good news and you will have a good Christmas.

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    1. Yes, I think we both were prepared for bad news. Once you realize that terrible things CAN happen in your life, you never get back that blissful feeling of living in a safe bubble.

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  5. My youngest nephew had cancer when he was eighteen. He celebrates each year that he's cancer free. I think every day is a miracle. I'm glad for you and your husband.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. I keep hearing stories of young people your nephew's age with cancer. It's terrifying. I'm so glad your nephew is okay!

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  6. Your husband is definitely a lucky, lucky man. He's got you. So happy to read this good news! I like Greg's approach to the momentous occasion. One day at a time. Every day is a celebration.

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    1. You're right, Mitchell. One day at a time is the best way to live! :)

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  7. I wish I had known you then Jennifer. I was blogging back then for a couple of years and knew nobody. I would love to have started speaking to you back then. Gregg sounds a great guy for you.

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    1. Your common sense, pragmatic approach to life would have been soothing to me back in those days, Rachel.

      Gregg and I are a good match, but we seemed an unlikely one when we first met.

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  8. Dear Jennifer, this is wonderful news that you have shared with us. Surely this Christmas will be a joyful one for your and Gregg, however it is that you all choose to celebrate it together.

    Although I am sorry not to have encountered you in "blogland' earlier, I am very happy to now be able to connect with you.

    Best wishes for a great Christmas, and let's keep our hopes alive for good times in the New Year. xo

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    1. Merry Christmas Frances! I'm glad you're here!

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  9. He is indeed a very lucky man. And that includes the love and support from you!

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    1. I feel so bad for people battling cancer (and other major diseases) without family or loved ones to support them.

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  10. Excellent news Jennifer, for both of you. Long may it continue..

    Ms Soup

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  11. People battling cancer go through rough times but also their loved ones suffer in silence besides them. You and Gregg are a sweet couple and made it through together. I wish you both some serenity and plenty more happy years together!
    Greetings Maria xx

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    1. It's definitely hard on the caregiver/spouse/loved one. I felt like I aged several years while Gregg was sick.

      Thanks for the kind words and wishes, my dear friend!

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  12. I was about to say nearly word for word what YP wrote, Jennifer.
    You are both so lucky to have found each other!
    That Gregg shrugged it off and changed the subject could also indicate that he is just relieved to have the matter off his back for another half year instead of being reminded of it. I am sure, though, that he knows and appreciates that all your concern and your pointing out the milestone comes from your love for him, and gratitude that he is still here.

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    1. Yes, he's very cautious about being too excited over the whole situation. He's also slowly weaning off a nerve pain blocker he's been taking for almost 5 years, and I think it's causing him some physical and emotional unease. And yes, he does appreciate my concern and happiness over the milestone, but I don't think it felt very momentous to him.

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  13. Jennifer, I started blogging about the time I got a cancer diagnosis. We caught mine early so it was relatively easy to resolve. Your husband's diagnosis was much more severe, but I am so glad he has done so well. There are always some long term ramifications, but at least we are still on the right side of the dirt.

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    1. Amen to that! Every day above ground is a good day! 😁

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