Here I sit at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa with an IV in my arm. The chemotherapy I take is oral–this IV is a 2 hour infusion of a bisphosphonate (bone strengthener) called Aredia. Next to me sits a 29 year old named John. John was diagnosed with testicular cancer at the tender age of 21. Following surgery and chemo back then, John was fine until last year, when he realized the cancer was back. Following two additional surgeries, John is currently undergoing a tough combination of multiple anti-cancer drugs. He drives an hour each way for 5 consecutive days, followed by 16 days of rest. John has a great attitude about his cancer and chemo, but I can tell it is hard on him–both physically and emotionally. This is John’s second round of treatments. He will finish in August. Doctors give him a 95% likelyhood he will be fine after his treatments end in three months.
John is quiet and unasumming. He is tan and good looking. You would barely notice his thinning hair as a result of his chemo. John’s advice to my readers: “You just need to keep going!” John’s mother, Julia, acts as his caregiver. “My mother is beautiful” John told me as we all sat and visited. “She puts a positive spin on everything!” John added. What a great guy! Visiting with John and Julia helped me get through another treatment–and helped me to not feel so sorry for myself.
John likes to swim and kayak in the Weeki Wachee river which flows close to his home. The river is spring fed and crystal clear. You can paddle all of the way to the Gulf if you like. John promises to take me out on the water in a few weeks. I can’t wait!
Feel good and keep smiling! Pat