We’re surrounded by uncertainty. It’s a destabilizing force that keeps us on alert, keeps us focused and keeps us from becoming lazily complacent. In a way, it’s a good thing. The trick is to NOT let it devolve from destabilizing to debilitating…. to NOT let it paralyze us with fear. I think I just learned the key to doing this from my brother Jeff.
Wednesday was the scheduled big day, when we would find out if his second round of treatment wiped out the Multiple Myeloma or not. On Tuesday evening, Jeff published these comments on his Caring Bridge website:
This will be short because I’m sure I’ll have a lot more to say on the 25th. I will get the results of my restaging tests and receive my official report card on my cancer status. It will be exactly one year since I received my official diagnosis on this same Wednesday in May, in Dr. Singhal’s office on the 21st floor of Lurie Cancer Center. Mo and I refer to it as “Club 21.” It softens the feel of this deadly serious facility where so many cancer patients come from all over the world to seek treatment, hope, and guidance.
I don’t know what the results will be, even though I feel so good and my strength is returning so noticeably. But here’s what I do know:
- I do know that I am alive today because of the treatments and protocol that I received at this amazing facility.
- I do know that softball saved my life. Not playing in that game on April 26th, and not getting hurt would have postponed my tests that lead to my diagnosis at a critical point. In a best case scenario I would have had kidney failure and lived on dialysis the rest of my life.
- I do know that I couldn’t have lived this last year, the way that I have, without the volume of support, prayer, and love from all of you.
- I do knowthat I have the best wife/ best friend in the world, in Ramona!
These things I know! The news I receive on Wednesday will be another sign post on my journey. It would be real nice if it was a “keep on truckin” sign with no more hospital rest stops! If not, I’ll deal with the news like we did last year; methodically, focused, determined and with passion to overcome.
Bless you all! Jeff & Ramona
So what’s the actual news from Wednesday? He had a good, but partial, response to the second stem cell transplant. Jeff has only 10% of the disease compared to this time last year, and there is still a little way to go for complete remission. His numbers are good but the doctor wants them perfect, which will mean more treatments.
What inspires me the most about Jeff’s list of blessings above is that he lists what he knows for sure, and doesn’t dwell on uncertainty. He may not yet have the final victory he wants, but he has victory in progress.
The “passion to overcome” is essential when you’re going round after round in a fight with no set number of rounds. Keep this truth close to your heart as you take on this uncertain world we live in… you may not win every round, but you must keep your fighting spirit.