Two years later: survivorship issues

It was two years ago today that I found out about the tumor. I don’t really remember that day or much of that week. But over the next few months I thought of myself as a cancer patient, then as being in remission, then of being in recovery from treatment. Eventually I started to see myself as someone who used to have cancer. I went back to work, started to do the things i enjoyed again, started to look and feel like my old self. I also got on with life. I got married, moved across the country, found a new job.

I knew that my body had changed from the illness and the drugs. I had gained weight but lost strength, and my feet and legs always hurt. Recently I found out that my legs weren’t just tired and sore. I have a condition called ‘avascular necrosis’ in both my hips, but it’s much worse in the right hip. It’s linked with using a class of drugs called corticosteroids, which I took to reduce swelling in my brain. The right hip is damaged to the point that it’s hard for me to walk without a cane or crutches.

Last month I went to California to see Dr. X for a check up and she was very worried to see me using the cane – I had used one to help with balance when I still had the tumor. She was very relieved that I ‘only’ had a collapsed bone in my hip! She called it a ‘survivorship issue.’

So right now I’m walking on crutches to try to keep weight off the worse hip and I’m going to have a surgery called ‘core decompression,’ in which the surgeon drills holes into my femur in the hopes of relieving pressure and encouraging new blood flow to the damaged part of the bone. If that doesn’t work, the only remaining option will be a total hip replacement.

I’ll get through this issue eventually, but right now I’m feeling a little bitter about having another health problem to deal with. The best part about surviving cancer is not being dead, but the rest of it isn’t always fun. My boss took me off the work schedule because he saw me using crutches at work (which I think is pretty unfair, but that’s a separate topic.) Now I’m unemployed and hobbling around the house until I get my surgery.

Despite all that, I’m feeling pretty happy about being two years removed from my diagnosis. Each month that passes makes it more likely that I will be forever free from lymphoma. And besides the sore hip, I feel pretty good. I’m starting to settle in to my new home in Rhode Island, and looking forward to summer when Sayer and I can slip our kayaks into the Atlantic.

Thanks for checking in.

Chris

 

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4 Responses to Two years later: survivorship issues

  1. John Baird says:

    It’s been over a year since I used this site. I can’t remember how to post “a reply”. Can you tell me? John A. Baird bairdjs@att.net

  2. Jeremy says:

    I suppose mixed news is better than strictly bad news, but that’s unfortunate about your hip. Let’s hope the less-invasive surgery gets the job done. Keep climbing!

  3. Howard Mahoney says:

    Bummer Smeech. Still, a cake-walk compared to some of the other stuff you’ve put up with. Hope you’re feeling better soon. Miss you guys.

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