If I lived in the right kind of place and had the right kind of stones, I’d build a marker to commemorate the second anniversary of my transplant. It is a significant event, if only for me and our family.
It would signify relief both deep and profound. Relief that I’ve made it this far recognizing it didn’t have to go this way. Realistically, any celebration would be premature as we won’t have the results of my latest bone marrow biopsy for another couple of weeks. Even then, the results will require analysis, evaluation, and interpretation.
However, the fact that I’m still here writing about all this is a very good sign.
That doesn’t mean that survival is without its own set of challenges. It just means the obstacles have changed and the challenges are different. However artificial these markers may be, they are opportunities to reflect on how far you’ve come and how far you have yet to go.
The optimist in me wants to believe that I am cancer-free and no longer a cancer patient. The pragmatist wants me to slow down a bit.
I’ve made it through the last seven years—the seven years post-diagnosis—by pushing forward with an unshakable belief that everything was going to be OK. That whatever the challenge, I would survive. Improvise, adapt, and overcome.
I survived with the support of my wife, our family, and friends. But survival brings its own set of challenges. The challenge of what to do with the gift you’ve been given. The gift of life. The gift of time. And while it might be a bit premature, that’s the marker I’m working on right now. A marker to reflect the opportunity to contribute. To give back. To serve.adaptcairnimprovisemarkersoptimistovercomepragmatistwhere you're goingwhere you've been