I’ve heard it said and know it’s true that time flies when you’re having fun. It could also be said that time flies when you’re having cancer. Once you get out of that early recovery period where time does not fly, it soon hits a pace I would like to slow. I would like to throw a net over it as it races past and drag it down so I could explain that there is no hurry now. Well, maybe there’s a bit of a hurry to get things done before the cancer makes its move, if it does.
Today marks one year since my stem cell transplant. Last July first was my, “day zero,” the day I receive the infusion, the fourth day of my two week hospital stay. I woke up this morning feeling pretty good about putting the year behind me. I’ve recovered from the transplant with few side effects, and am enjoying partial remission. I get to be here with Diane, I get to go to work every day, I’ve completed some projects around home, and I got to meet my grandson. Life is good.
Before I checked into the cancer treatment center in Portland, Diane and I met with a nurse. Her name was Sarah, and she was going to be our guide through this process. She laid out the game plan, answered questions, gathered signatures, and issued documents including my personal calendar. I didn’t see her after I checked into the hospital, but we spoke several times on the phone when I returned home. Except in an emergency she was to be my contact person. I would call and ask her if Diane and I could go to a movie or to Kaydia’s birthday party and she would remind me that it was too soon for that kind of exposure. I kept her card, and after a few months, I called to tell her my recovery was progressing well. I called her today to tell her about the one year anniversary, and that I remember her kindness. After a moment, the lady who answered her extension said, “I’m sorry. Sarah was diagnosed with cancer in January and died in May.”