Saturday, May 24, 2008

Ever Have One of Those Days...

Have you ever had one of those days where it just feels great to be alive? I mean, I'm sitting here waiting for the narcotics to kick in (prescribed people, prescribed...) to relieve my torn-up esophagus, and it doesn't matter. The kids are playing around, its a gorgeous day outside (that I'll be able to go out and enjoy), and we're almost done.

Adding to the euphoria is the fact that one of my biggest worries just went out the door. My radiation doc is pretty adamant I go back out on disability for another 4-5 weeks, to rest up. Apparently I'm the only one who thought going back to work was a good idea. Well, here's the problem: I only have 2 1/2 weeks of FMLA left. What does that mean for you folks who don't know FMLA law? Essentially, my company has the right to fire me. Naturally, that worries me.

I spoke to my manager on Thursday. Her response is one of the reasons when I'm better I'll work 24 hour projects for her: "We don't HAVE to fire you, its really there for people who abuse it. In your case, you probably are the opposite... You didn't take it when you probably should have."

In essence: You'll have a job, just get better... And make sure you're 100% better this time. Of course, I thought I was, but was under the impression that radiation was a cakewalk compared to chemo. It's still easier, but DAMN am I tired - And burnt. My whole neck and chest are red.

But, the fact is, I kicked cancer's ass. I'm going to enjoy a gorgeous day outside with my family, and I'll enjoy another one tomorrow. I have a lot of them to go. Yeah, we're feeling good about things today.

Am I going to live forever? No. The fact is, with the risks for relapse, secondary cancers (due to treatments), and the fact that my genes are fubar, I have about a 60% shot of making it 20 years. That's OK though. Go back to the beginning where I may have had something that gave me a coin toss for 2 years. I look at the wonderful people I've met through this who have the same "easy-cure" disease, who didn't make it. Twenty years sounds damn good.

But, the most important lesson is what I've heard constantly from the start: Live every day like its your last. Damn, its true. Enjoy every day.

Speaking of, I need to go shower. There's a gorgeous day outside with my name on it!


Dennis said...

Congrats Steve. Sorry Radiation was such a drag for you. Enjoy your time on disability and get out and enjoy life. Candace and I look forward to meeting you and your family in Boston.

Bekah said...

I hear it's someone's last day of RADS and treatment today!

whooooooop. ;)

mmm. Can I get a hell yeah?


Hoping you get to celebrate in this lovely weather with that beautiful, beautiful wife of yours.

Hell yeah steve. Congrats on being DONE!