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Monday, December 14, 2009

My Brother Back to Work (He Beat the Punk....Cancer)

Here is the post from my brother Kevin's Blog: "Kevin Beats Cancer"

Big day tomorrow. Encouraging sign that progress is positive. I go back to work....

I was thinking today just how long ago it seems that I had to stop working to focus on my treatment and then my recovery. Counting the days, it really isn't even 4 months. Seems like so much longer. Not that I want to sit around and live again the various stages of my journey.... no, the darkest days are best kept slightly out of focus.... I know their memories are there, tucked away should I ever need them (I won't), but deep enough not to be part of my daily consciousness. They weren't very pretty.... my nemeses (ok, and savior) daily radiation and punk chemo, vomiting which was so regular that it just seemed part of my day and stopped being surprising, not sleeping, living through the feeding tube, and the nausea.... no, not pretty. And while going through the darkness, time seemed to stand still.

But helping me through it all were my family and friends. And my faith. Once again God proved never to give me more than I could handle. He also never gave me more than my family and friends could handle by my side. I don't want to even think about what the experience would have been like had I not had such support. Such a blessing.

Getting back to work is huge. I met with my radiation doc a couple days ago and he is very happy with the progress and very optimistic. The PET scan is mid January and that will determine whether surgery is needed, but he thinks it will not be. The tumor in my mouth appears gone now based on the last MRI and both cancerous lymph nodes in my neck seem cancer free at this point. Again, the PET scan will be the true determiner of the state of recovery, but optimism runs high. And working again is just one more sign that the worst is far behind me.

I learned a lot of lessons during this process. Still learning actually. One lesson that easily comes to mind is just how powerful kindness can be. Something we are all capable of sharing, so easily given away to others, always in abundance, and the impact on the receiver so tremendous. Often just a quick text message or a brief email from someone letting me know they were thinking of me and wishing me well was so significant in helping me keep a positive outlook. How often do we think about doing or saying something kind for or to someone, but it doesn't get any further than a thought. It would have been so easy to follow through, but whether we are too busy or shy or unsure whether it will really matter (it always does), the benefit to that other person is lost. I really think kindness is underrated. A simple gesture, a kind word, can turn a persons entire day around positively. And the domino effect is contagious. Just do it. Worth the effort?

Ok, got to get ready for work tomorrow. A little piece of normal back into an otherwise very abnormal 2009......ahhhh, I like normal.

Have a great week. Now go be kind to someone. :)

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