A New Family Milestone
In my marriage, there are many milestones my family chooses to celebrate. To name a few of these are wedding anniversary, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas, Easter, birthdays, and graduation. A year after my diagnosis, my family added a new celebration we call “Special Thanksgiving Day”. This falls on December 4th of each year. I was diagnosed with lung cancer on December 4, 2019.
The first Special Thanksgiving Day 2020
I finally decided on my first cancer anniversary or better known as my first Cancerversary be rightly called as my first Special Thanksgiving Day. Within one year from diagnosis, I went through very thorough scans and blood tests. Ranging from bi-weekly to monthly. There were overwhelming medical appointments to go to. Before the pandemic, I often see my cancer doctor in person. But when the pandemic came, I have mostly phone appointments. Once every six months, I still get to see him at his clinic.
The TKI side effects have not hindered me to do normal activities. But I refrain from overwhelming myself. As nearing my first year from diagnosis, my oncologist used the word stable to describe my right lung cancer and the other word gone for my brain Mets. It is worth setting a special day of celebration to have a food feast with my family and lifting cheers to our favorite non-alcoholic drinks. The day includes thanksgiving prayers for my prolonged life and remembering all the people who have stood by me throughout my lung cancer journey.
It would have been a different story of celebration without Covid-19 restrictions. My celebration would include a trip to a tropical place with nice white sand beaches and amazing food to devour. Or even so, I would go to Orlando, Florida for a week with my family to visit Disneyworld and Universal Studios again. This time with my first grandson.
Midway to second Special Thanksgiving Day 2021
More side effects appeared due to the TKI. These have to be controlled by another prescription and a more strict diet. The scans and blood tests monitoring has continued from monthly to semi-annually. My cancer doctor decided to reduce my daily TKI intake from 1200 mg per day to 900 mg per day due to a non-safe side effect in the blood count. Of course, I have added iron-rich food to my diet to supplement the side effect. My cancer doctor has kept saying I have a stable lung cancer condition despite being at a lower TKI dose.
Subsequent Special Thanksgiving Days
Many called my Special Thanksgiving Day a day of survivorship or cancerversary. We surely have a choice of how to call and celebrate the special day. While others do not want to look back on the pain and shock receiving a lung cancer diagnosis. For me having a prolonged life is an amazing gift. I thank God for the gift of life with my family. I count every blessing and find contentment each day. Here’s to hoping for a longer stable lung cancer condition and a long run with my TKI.
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