Monday, August 26, 2013

Seeking Work - Former Cancer Patient Renews Résumé

Less than two years since my last day at work, I have started hunting a new position. Because I have two certifications in software, I am starting to get emails and calls already. Hopefully the right job will come my way real soon.

I stayed on maintenance therapy with lenalidomide (revlimid) until March. But I finally told my medical team that I was done. they accepted that, I guess. The drug was keeping me weak and fatigued and incapable of pulling myself together. Even though we had cut and cut the dosage down to 10mg; it was still draining the life out of me. We started at 25mg - that was debilitating!

Feeling healthier is so positive. Once I get back into a job where I can put my talents to use, I will - I have to believe - feel it was all worth it.

I was really reluctant to start this battle - my third go around against this nasty foul up in the way my blood cells regenerate. The strategy we have used is to make my entire body toxic. We poison everything so thoroughly, the errant/wrongly dividing cells die off. This makes my day-to-day life a very real fight; I have had to will myself to persevere. Once I saw consistently clear signals from my laboratory results that we had cleared those  cells out again, I really started looking for light at the end of the tunnel. Over and over again through all those months I wondered how it made sense to do it again. I am still looking for the answer.

Right now my answer is to be a member of my family. My wife gives me great joy each and every day. We are so very much in love. We will celebrate our fifth year of marriage in November. My son and I are enjoying a mutual admiration society. I adore him and feel so much pride I him. This summer he earned a place on the US National YMCA swim team by swimming in a qualifying clinic in late July. He is in his last year of elementary school and already more than five foot one inch tall; and a very handsome fellow too. Our daughter is moving through life as a thriving professional; studying for an advanced degree; enjoying seeing her own friends start and grow families; traveling internationally on vacation; returning to us and making our home more gentle and loving. My cousin Sandy invited us to come back to Wisconsin and I am so glad we did. She made us feel so much at home when we (my son and I) traveled to visit family and see my hometown, Milwaukee. We enjoyed so many good times with my Dad and Mom and all of my brothers and sister - just missing my brother, his wife and son, who live in Prague and couldn't make it.. Still it was amazing that everybody from Texas all came. They said they couldn't resist seeing my boy at his first family reunion. Now my Mother is here in our home for a five-week stay. Yesterday we celebrated her 69th birthday -- isn't that great!! Yeah; I think so too. So I am doing everything I can to be close to the people who raised me up, grew up with me and who let me care for and about them. This is what has made it worth the fight.

Now if I can go work .. all the rest will come together.

I guess that's all I have to say about that.

 - Mark