Today is the big day!
The day that is somehow magical and yet just another day.
Today we have officially reached the 5 year mark for Frank being cancer free!
Anyone who has had cancer or dealt with a relative having cancer knows that all of the statistics are based on 5 year survival rates.
Doctors don't really like to talk in statistics, because every patient is an individual with different issues and problems. But as a patient (or wife of one) you can't help but want to know your "odds" of beating it.
Frank's odds weren't great.
And the whole treatment was rough. He had setbacks and close calls. He wanted to give up at times.
But eventually, we reached the point of receiving the bone marrow transplant that could possibly save his life.
Yep, it was 5 years ago today that Frank received a bone marrow transplant from a total stranger that had signed up with the bone marrow registry.
I wrote a blog about it on the 2 year anniversary and here it is.
(It also has a link to the bone marrow registry, should you feel so inclined)
This morning as I was chatting with my son, Austin, I reminded him of what day it was and he said, "Happy lifeversary!"
I kinda like that better than second birthday or re-birthday, which is what we've been calling it so far.
Today Frank is healthy and happy. He works, does all kinds of home projects, travels, reads, and does pretty much anything else he wants to do.
I remember worrying during the treatment that he would be disabled long term and wondering how he would handle that. I had a friend and cancer survivor who told me that he would probably not be disabled...that she knew lots of people who got back to their old selves without long term problems. She was right.
Sure, we had lots of hard times during treatment and for a few years after. But today his only real problem is very dry eyes. He was told that his GVH (Graft VS Host...a common problem with bone marrow transplant) could result in a variety of problems but best case scenario was dry eyes. And even though the dry eyes do drive him nuts at times, he knows that in the grand scheme of things he is happy that this is his only problem.
We plan to celebrate in some way today, thought we haven't decided on exactly what we will do.
It doesn't really matter what we do though. We can celebrate by just being together and realizing that we have had 5 years that we wouldn't have had if that man somewhere out in the world hadn't given his marrow for Frank. I wish I could hug that man.
Hopefully we will have many more years together...because, as of today, we can officially say that Frank has beat cancer!