A Reflection on the Price of Survivorship
(Steven and Dr.Alex)
I am very thankful to God that Steven is two and half years out from his bone marrow transplant. Overall he is doing well. He is able to enjoy his life as a 21 year old who lives independently, attends college, plays in a rock band, and has fun!!! What more could I ask?
Well, I guess nothing…
But there is that lingering issue: Survivorship. When I try to convince my son he should eat better, try to relax and get more rest his response is " WHEN I FEEL GOOD I AM GOING TO LIFE TO THE FULLEST!"… despite what experts say about the value of rest (which increases the body's seratonin levels) and diet (proper nourishment???). Hard to argue. …
So I have to accept that there will be days when he is sick, in pain, and like today, in the hospital on morphine. Not an easy feeling.
Unfortunately the realities of cancer survivorship, particularly those individuals who are also BMT survivors is that "there will be good days and bad days".
The research states that there are a few solutions to the problems of survivorship, but alot of data! Hopefully in time the research will provide more results to the ways we can avoid damage to the bodies of our survivors as they undergo cancer therapy treatment. Perhaps new treatment modalities will attack the cancer and save the body!!!
I believe it is in God and Science's hands:)
In the meantime, be aware that there is a price for survivorship. Following "successful treatment" people struggle with life threatening conditions, chronic pain, and digestive issues that will never go away. The saying that "time heals all wounds" doesn't necessarily apply here.
There is no good answer, only HOPE. Hope for better treatments. Hope for a future without cancer and its sickening affects on our loved ones.