Thursday, May 28, 2015

Cancer Opens Doors

Admittedly, my cancer journey has been a walk in the park compared to what so many other people go through.  Despite that, it cannot be denied that cancer opens doors.  Cancer opens people to conversations, to sharing.  Even though the club you’re part of is The Suckiest Club Ever, you’re still part of a group of people with shared experiences, people you can talk to who understand, people that can emphasize instead if sympathize.

Recently I became Facebook friends with a coworker.  Today we were on the elevator together, and he mentioned my recent “good news” post, and we shared a solid fist bump (okay, less than solid, because I was holding an apple in one hand and a notebook in another, but I never turn down a good fist bump).  Cancer opens the door.  Enter the shared experience.  Suddenly I was introduced to one of the many sides of this person that I might never have experienced, were it not for Cancer.  And despite the evil that is Cancer, I felt blessed the rest of my day; blessed by the shortest conversation with this person.

I’ve had similar experiences with others.  Others at work, others out in the world.  Despite the horror and fear that can accompany cancer, there are silver linings as well, and often these linings are others sharing the experience.

(For those wondering about the “good news”, I learned this last week that just 23 months after first learning that I have leukemia, I am in molecular remission – less than 0.001% detection (“undetectable”) in my blood.  As long as my numbers continue to stay low / near undetectable, I will be able to avoid bone marrow biopsies (at least for a while!).  I’ll continue to take the Sprycel to continue to fight the CML.  Here’s to amazing drugs, amazing doctors, amazing scientists!)

I know that it’s been a long time since I posted a blog.  I’ve struggled with words; there is so much to tell that it became stopped up inside me and today the cork was freed by one fist bump.  I never know what will open my heart again to sharing with others, but I’m always glad when it does!

I want to share also that Adam, the girls, and I, along with my dear friend Amy, will be walking the LLS Light the Night walk on October 1, 2015, in Denver.  The walk is intended to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  Much like other organizations that raise money, the money goes towards research and a host of other things so that people like myself can experience the freedom from the fear of cancer that comes with amazing drugs, financial support, or other means.  Were it not for the scientists who first discovered the gene mutation that causes 95% of CML cases, and then the scientists who developed the drugs known as TK inhibitors that help find my CML, my life would have a much different outlook than it currently does now.  Hardly a day goes by that I do not think of this and remember how blessed I am.  I look forward to the day that I can share this miracle with our daughters.  Even though they may not understand the concept of cancer, the girls walked last year and will walk again this year.  During the walk we discuss the different people there (survivors, in support of, and in memory of).  This year we have a goal to raise $10,000 for LLS through the walk.  If you feel compelled to donate, you can do so through our website here:

Thank you for continuing to read the blog, for the love, for the support.