Saturday, May 3, 2014

How long the road?

When I was in the hospital, some one told me that if I had an auto-transplant, that it would take about six months to get back to normal and if I had an allo-transplant, that it would take about a year to get back to normal. Fortunately, I needed no transplant of any variety, but it is safe to say that I did not felt back to normal six or even twelve months out from treatment. I am now about sixteen months out and I think I started feeling normal at about fifteen months. I say "I think," because feeling normal does not arrive with an announcement; about one month ago is my best memory of it.

If someone was going to recover quickly from their leukemia, you would expect it to be me. I was pretty young (47-48 years old) and in good shape physically (I ran a five K the weekend before my diagnosis--I was slow, but still). I had lots of resources, support and help. It seems highly unlikely that most patients are going to recover from a larger intervention than I had more quickly than I did. I mentioned this to John at my last visit and he said that it didn't surprise him--that he would have guessed that I went back to normal about sixteen months ago when I went back to work. We talked about the questions he asks usually and what different questions might elicit that information (if he wanted it). He told me he would change his standard thing that he says to patients because he thinks it's probably not true. I certainly can attest to the fact that it's not useful.
Budapest looking its normal gorgeous self, hopefully feeling it, too.
So, now that I'm back to normal what does it look like? Lots of different things, but today it looks like me running five miles in under an hour. I am so happy because it is the best I've run since before my leukemia.

May we all be the selves we would like to be--our normal self or not.

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