Monday, December 26, 2011

Pink Christmas

So, a nurse came in the other day with this pretty pink Christmas tree. (Fake, of course. Oh, and I added the sunglasses and mustache to complete the ensemble.)

Here's the story that went along with it. I may be butchering it and leaving out key parts, but let's just blame that on chemo brain.

There was a man - an older man, in his 60s - who was diagnosed with ALL (same thing as me) around this time of year. He was stuck in the hospital through the holidays, but kept up his spirits with family and was a really cheerful guy.

(Okay, at this point, I was all, "Awesome! This is a story about a Christmas miracle! How up-lifting!" Yeah, not quite... Well, just wait.)

So the guy went through chemo, went into remission and went home.

("Alright! That's... wait, what?")

But a few years later, he relapsed. The cancer returned, and had to go back to the hospital for more chemo.

("Oh... I thought this story was supposed to make me feel better...")

The cancer went away, but, yet again, it came back. And it kept coming back. And round after round of chemo, it kept coming back...


Until finally he got to an age where he had to decide whether he wanted to spend the rest of his life going through chemo in and out of hospital, or to be maintained until the cancer eventually killed him.

("Uh... please go away... You do know that I have cancer, right?")

So, the man decided that he had lived a full life and wanted to spent what little time he had left with his family and friends. He would go in for transfusions to keep his blood levels up, but other than that they would maintain him and keep him comfortable until he died.

("So, where's the happy part...")

Then something started happening....


Every time he would go to the clinic to get his blood levels checked, the results would come back normal. He was perfectly fine every time he went in. No transfusions needed.

("Okay, took a while, but I'm interested...")

The doctors were stumped. They said, "Well, let's do a bone marrow biopsy just to see what's going on in there." So they did and they found that his cancer was completely gone. Not a trace. It was a miracle. The doctors had no idea how it had happened, but this guy - after so many years of chemo and treatment - was finally cancer-free.

("Aw, that's nice!")

Yup, he ended up living another two and a half years, eventually dying of pneumonia -


But not cancer.

("Heh, heh, that's nice... I guess...")

And every year since, his family has been donating 12 Christmas trees to patients stuck in the hospital during the holidays.

And it is nice. I've never had a pink Christmas, but I think it might be a nice new tradition.

At least I can glean this from that story: I will not let cancer beat me.

I'll probably just get hit by a bus - a NON-Cancer bus! And that's just fine with me!

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