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.