It has been several months since I last posted. There is a good reason for this, a different kind of trip..
Sometime in the new year, 2014, I started feeling poorly. No energy, no particular enthusiasm for doing anything. I managed to struggle through some real estate deals, and the Spring art show season. I started having severe problems with my left hip, ending up after driving back from the Pensacola show in May, having to use a walker to get around. The urgent care doctor diagnosed a bone spur in my hip. Not being satisfied, I got in to see Dr. Vo, an orthopedic surgeon and after an MRI, he surmised I might have a more serious problem. He ordered some emergency blood tests and called my home around 7:00m PM that day and informed me that I probably had leukemia. He got me in to see an oncologist the next day, and after a very stressful week of tests, I was diagnosed with CML, chronic myeloid leukemia. If you have ever been hit upside the head with a brickbat, that was how it felt. I went from a lifetime of being healthy to being a cancer patient.
CML is a form of leukemia, which if you have to have leukemia, is the best kind to have. It is treatable or manageable with a daily pill called Gleevec, which was developed specifically for this disease. Sounds simple, and it really is. However, it is still chemotherapy with a long list of potential side effects. I am two+ months into the therapy now, and am blessed to have minimal reaction, mostly just having to keep Imodium handy. Enough said, I think.
I don’t mind admitting that hearing the doctor say that I had cancer, even a manageable form, sent me to a dark place. As someone said, I think my mother-in-law, when you see your name on the report, it hits home. Depression followed. Luckily, with the help of my wife and a lot of prayer, the depression didn’t last very long. I realized that there are people I know who are a lot worse off that I am. The hardest part has been dealing with the lack of energy, strength and enthusiasm. All of which are slowly coming back as the drug therapy takes hold. I will probably have to take the Gleevec pill the rest of my life, but there are certainly worse things that could have happened. Even in a dark place, there is always a light at the end, if you have faith.