Tuesday, December 7, 2010

One Word Wednesday: Gift


This week's word is Gift.  Today I want to talk about the gift of life, in particular, the incredible gift that John was given last year, the summer of 2009.  

John was diagnosed with Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphoma in June 2007.  It was all down the left side of his body, in his neck, chest, abdomen and pelvis.  John underwent 6 months of chemo and went into remission. Over the next 2 years John's cancer came back twice.  He had his spleen removed in Jan 2009.  

Three months later it was back.  He went to the University of Pennsylvania, where a Lymphoma specialist told him she could do a stem cell transplant and get rid of his cancer once and for all.  She was going to completely destroy John's immune system and then do a stem cell transplant to build a brand new immune system, using John's own stem cells!!  However, it was a dangerous treatment and it could possibly kill him.  If the chemo didn't kill him, he could possibly develop Leukemia 10 to 20 years down the road.  John said,  "You can give me 10 to 20 more years?  Let's do it!"  Who know what strides the medical community can make in 10 years?

The summer of 2009, John went through 3 rounds of very high dose chemo.  He handled it like it was nothing!  His bone marrow was still good, so they harvested his own stem cells for transplant in August.  

John, recovering at home after the transplant, Sept. 2009

John was supposed to be in the hospital, following the transplant for about a month.  He was released in 12 days!  He entered the hospital for the last round of chemo and transplant on August 21.  He went back to work on September 21!!  John's re-birthday is August 28, and we celebrate it every year!  

John, boogying with my daughter, Gina at my niece's wedding October 2009
He looks like Daddy Warbucks!

John was getting PET scans every 3 months for a year to check to see if his cancer has returned and so far, it hasn't!!  It's been 16 months and John's been cancer free all this time!

John, October 2010 just after learning he's till cancer free!

Dr. Sunita Nasta has given John the gift of his life!  We appreciate every day and celebrate John's good health!

Jill, at Jillsy Girl is the host of One Word Wednesday.  Every week, she gives us a word to blog.  We can write a story, post a picture, a poem, a song.  Whatever we want!  Check her out!!  You can also see what everyone else is blogging about too.


4timesblessed said...

That is a wonderful post. It makes you thrive to live your life to it's fullest as you never know what will come along down the road. Thankfully this is a happy ending. Life is a wonderful gift.

slommler said...

Congrats to John and to you! What a wonderful "gift"!!! I too love a happy ending!

Jillsy Girl said...

There couldn't be a better gift in life than life itself. It's amazing how far we've gotten in battling the big "C" and hopefully there will come a day when no one will have to succumb to it. John is one lucky guy in many, many ways! Here's to wishing him the gift of happiness and health for many more years!

Barbara Shallue said...

What a wonderful story! Mine might have said 'each day is a gift from God' but yours showed us exactly why that is true. Congratulations to both of you!! And praying the story continues to be a happy one for years and years to come!

Sally G. said...

How WONDERFUL to read this happy ending-in-progress. Cancer is ruthless ~ how grateful I am that John slipped through its clutches and that you are both enjoying life together as you are.

A true Gift, indeed ...

wintergurl said...

GOd is love and great . Thanks GOD he give JOHN a chance and life. May GOD bless JOHN .

lisleman said...

great story. The thought of chemo just scares me so much I don't think I could do it. Reading about someone making it through to a recovered end is reassuring.

Tammy @BeatriceBanks said...

Wonderful story! Couldn't ask for a greater gift than being cancer free! Happy for you and him!

Joanna Jenkins said...

YEAH ! ! ! ! This is the best gift of all.
Cheers to you and John, jj