I love that quote. Perspective is so important. This morning, I had a check-up with my leukemia doctor at MD Anderson. It is always such a humbling experience. Even when I was at my sickest, I was never as sick as most of the people there. While there, I spend most of my free-time giving thanks for my health and the medical professionals and advancements that have gotten me here...and praying for those who are not as fortunate as me. In my last health-related blog post (here), things were looking a little more grim. Although I was hopeful, it was still very uncertain and scary. Now, 10 months later, things are definitely looking up.
Back in June, even though I knew things were bad, I didn't really know just how bad they were. But come to find out my heart was at a very high risk of failing. I guess it's a good thing I didn't know about that when I was gallivanting around the beaches of Florida and Harry Potter world with the family. I was able to fully focus on them and the memories we were making. Now, my heart is no longer enlarged, no longer at risk of failure, and my pulmonary-arterial pressure is almost back to normal. This is all due to stopping my leukemia medication and starting 2 pulmonary hypertension medications (including Viagra...I know, I know...funny, right?). I'm getting a right-heart catheterization in June to see if they can start weaning me off of those meds. YAY!! In the meantime, though, that means that I have not had any treatment for the leukemia since May. My intermittent blood work has been normal, and while we're waiting for the results of a more detailed test from MD Anderson, my doctor says there's no reason to think that I haven't achieved a state of "treatment free remission".
WOOHOO! I've been living with CML for almost 12 years. This is huge! Now, as with any remission, there's always a chance I could relapse in the future. But the longer I go, the slimmer the chances are. And there are cases of people relapsing with CML even 10+ years after having a stem-cell transplant. So only time will tell. But as Master Oogway said in Kung Fu Panda, "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift...that is why it is called the present".