Saturday, January 30, 2010

Full Remission

It has been a long time coming, and the journey is far from over, but we couldn't be more happy to be in remission right now.
For those of you like me about a year ago, to hear I am in full remission sounds like a good thing without a doubt- but I was never really quite sure what that meant? I used to think "why can't cancer patients just say I am cured, I know what cured means, what is all this partial remission, full remission, relapse mumbo jumbo". Now I know what it means and why they say that, and I can also say that full remission is certainly where you want to be, but you are never really totally out of the woods, and at least for my cancer you are never totally cured. I was in partial remission which means there was a little bit of cancer left, barely enough to notice. I am now in full remission which means with all the fancy tests and bone marrow biopsies they couldn't find any cancer at all. There is always a chance that it will come back though (which is a relapse), that is why you are never just cured, and why I will have to get tests done every three months for the next year, and every six months for the rest of my life to make sure it doesn't come back.
This is definitely where we want to be and any cancer patient for that matter, but from what I have heard it can be a little scary at first because you don't ever want to find the cancer again and have to go through chemo, transplants, and everything else that goes with it. Then you realize you can't live your life in fear and have to get busy livin or get busy dying as they say in "Shawshank Redemption". I choose to get busy living since I have always had the attitude for some reason or another that we would make it through this. It is kind of a sobering thought to think you could actually have died, not from some freak accident, but that following probability and statistics that you should be dead. On the same note however, how refreshing to know that you did beat the odds with the help of a wonderful wife, an amazing family support group, wonderful friends, and even the kindness of complete strangers. All of these people came together to be a part of a miracle which took place through you, pretty cool. How do you say thank you for that? Obviously it is pretty hard to really show how much you really appreciate everything that so many people have given and done for us. I have personally taken the attitude that I can hopefully show you all how grateful I am for your help by the way I live my life and the kind of man and father I become. With all the goings on of the past year and even up to this day, I have had a lot of time to contemplate everything that has been done for Katie and me, and not only is it amazing and I am overwhelmed with gratitude and love, but I also feel there is so much good out there and people and just so kind if you just give them an opportunity to show it. So thank you from truly the marrow of my bones for your love, food, fasting, prayers, visits, cards, and every other form of support that you have shown us in the past year and for many years to come. I will keep reporting to keep you updated on what is going on but hopefully there won't be too many changes if you know what I mean.
As for right now, I am going to physical therapy twice a week and making some great strides towards getting my strength back. I was able to finish my schooling and get my MBA at the end of last year with the help of some wonderful professors at Westminster, so now I am looking for a job and some benefits. I am happy to say I have some leads and should be joining Katie in the work force before too long but nothing is official right now. We have moved back into our condo on Foothill Drive, I am driving a little on my own, and we have even started going back to church little by little. As life begins to take more and more of a familiar setting, I am even more grateful for the simplicities that I used to take for granted. Being able to feed myself and eat what ever I want are high on the list. To be able to go for a drive or get outside when ever I want is certainly better than being restricted to wandering up and down one hallway in the U of U hospital. To be able to work my body and lift my legs as they were made to move is truly a wonder. Even simple things like tying my shoes, although still a little painful, brings me a new simple joy that even I can't explain. I am sure I could go on and on, but this post is already much longer than it should be and most the people reading it will have lost interest- so I will close by saying thank you again for helping me achieve these things once again, and for bringing me full circle in a journey that was frightening, monotonous at times, and simply wonderful at others; and when I got back to where I thought I had started I realized I had traveled further than I could have ever imagined.


McCall and Jon Nelson said...

WOW - we are thrilled for you and so grateful for this miracle! May you continue to be blessed and know and feel of our love and support!

Laurel said...

Doan, what a wonderful post. Got us a little choked up reading through it. You are truly an inspiration and have a long life ahead of you! We have no doubt that this experience has and will continue to have greater purpose than we can comprehend. You and Katie are both incredible people who were obviously sent to this earth with special missions, and we are confident that you are and will continue to fulfill them to their fullest measure. We love you both so much. Now get out there and enjoy LIVING!!!
-laurel and ry

Jessica Petersen said...

So happy to hear such awesome news! Good luck in getting back into regular life. You are so blessed!

Sarah M said...

Brandon, this makes me so happy to hear this. I have been thinking about you so much lately, hoping that everything is going your way, because no one deserves it more than you. I'd really like to come see you when I am in Utah, it seems like every time i am there, I am sick. lame.
Anyway, I hope to see you sooner than later and you will continue to be in my prayers that this remission is PREMANENT!
-sarah jones morgan

andersons said...

I love you Bran! you are awesome and I love this post, it is great to read because I am so far away! Know I think of you everyday and look up to you so much! I miss you and you have come a long way and you deserve everything you have been given. (a great sis!j/k!)I am blessed to have you in my life and the best years in your life are yet to come I have a feeling! Love you! lish*

Unknown said...

We are so glad for you. This is excellent news. We love you and Katie. Jer&Aim

Tracy Peterson said...

I am so happy that you are doing well! We will keep you and Katie in our thoughts and prayers!