Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Celebrating a cancer comeback

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My last vivid memory of the beach dates back to March 2005, just after I was discharged from the hospital. I'd been hospitalized for five days for chemotherapy-induced low blood counts and a fever. It took antibiotics, a blood transfusion, and a lot of rest to help me recover, and I celebrated my homecoming with a family trip to the beach. I felt generally well for the duration of my ocean getaway, but I was weak. It took every ounce of my strength just to hold my hat and wig on my head when winds threatened to take it for a spin -- which it did on one occasion. Less than two weeks later, I was back in the hospital.

This past weekend, I was back at the beach. Now, I have a new vivid memory.

The weather was perfect, with temperatures ideal for running. The sand was a little sloped, a little soft, and a lot bumpy but I didn't mind. Equipped with my MP3 player and five of my favorite songs, I ran. And ran. When my songs ended, I turned around and ran back. I felt strong, alive, invincible. Later in the day, I ran again. I even did some sprinting. It was invigorating.

There are no visions of cancer that accompany this memory. No hospital stays. No wigs and hats. Just the way I like it.

Memories are powerful. So is the passage of time.
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