Remission Anniversary: One Year Cancer Free

Twelve months ago today I was formally placed in Full Remission after two cancer clear scans and multiple blood test. March 2018 was Less than 8 months following a full Stem Cell Transplant which I had commenced with a 5% chance of surviving from day one dropping to terminal within 3 months. Even though I got the all clear in November 2018, 100 days after my Stem Cell Transplant the medical team wanted a further 3 months to confirm, I just love the idea of going from discussing terminal to talking about months and years ahead

It is my belief that I have been kept alive for a purpose, that purpose is not yet clear to me but I am sure in time it will become clear.

But today I celebrate a clear twelve months, I’m back in full-time employment nearly three months. Working an average of a 50 hour week it has lead to some issues in particular fatigue. Cancer fatigue is unlike any other form of fatigue and only people who have experienced this will understand what I mean. I have described cancer fatigue and post chemotherapy fatigue in previous blog articles. It is not like tiredness or even exhaustion, it’s a lot worse. Basically you could be bouncing one minute & completely knackered the next minute. The longest spell of fatigue I have had was Thursday two weeks ago when it hit for nearly 30 minutes which was followed by waves of tiredness at midday, I got a second attack at 3pm and what we think was another attack on my way home at 7pm – I was driving the car and lost control for a split second. Lucky for me there were no other cars or people about and I managed to stop the car without an incident. But I have managed it so far and the business is going and growing well ahead of plans & expectations. We have expanded and created more jobs here in Cork with a total of three new employees & all going well we will be looking for another two or three very soon. 19 employees now since the 2nd January, all hard working dedicated individuals focused on making the company shine bright. We are securing new business daily. The targets I set for June have already been reached and exceeded.

It feels strange that it’s 5 years on the 13th of March since I first commenced chemotherapy – so much has happened in those 5 years but not one regret – Coming to terms with the fact that most of the diagnoses and treatment seem to happen in Feb and March. But for me it feels great to be able to plan months and years ahead again.

Life is too short, we never know what awaits us every day.

So 12 months Cancer free and rapidly approaching my Mum’s first anniversary- Mum passed away on the 9th of April 2018 and I have missed her every day since.

My next appointment with the oncologist is set for the 2nd of April, so I will be posting a blog that day.

• Diagnosed 14th Feb 2014 Hodgkins Lymphoma stage 4

• Biopsy to right neck Feb 2014

• Bone marrow & Lumbar punch March 2014

• P.E.T. Scan March 2014 (P.E.T. Number 1)

• Chemotherapy ABVD Commenced 13th March 2014 Ended 14th August 2014

• P.E.T. Scan April 2014 (P.E.T. Number 2)

• Declared Chemotherapy Steroid induced Diabetes May 2014

• June 2014 Bleomycin (The B from ABVD) attacked my right lung

• P.E.T. Scan Oct 2014 (P.E.T. Number 3)

• Radiotherapy @ 40gml Grey to right side neck commenced Nov 2014 to Dec 2014

• Terminally diagnosed 6 weeks to live following Radiotherapy Dec 2014

• Ultrasound Fine needle aspiration March 2015

• P.E.T. Scan May 2015 (P.E.T. Number 4)

• Tonsillectomy & Biopsies to throat July 2015

• P.E.T. Scan Oct 2015 (P.E.T. Number 5)

• Cleared of diabetic issue Oct 2015

• Remission 14 Feb 2016

• P.E.T. Scan May 2016 (P.E.T. Number 6)

• Biopsies to throat & base of tongue July 2016

• P.E.T. Scan Oct 2016 (P.E.T. Number 7)

• Suspected Kidney failure Nov 2017 & new Lymphoma site to middle spine

• P.E.T. Scan Feb 2017 (P.E.T. Number 8)

• Biopsy to lower spine Lymph Nodes March 2017

• Declared relapse both HLD & NHL urgent  rescue procedures required March 2017

• Advised the situation is critical March 2017 classed as Terminal

• ICE Chemotherapy April to May 2017

• P.E.T. Scan May 2017 (P.E.T. Number 9)

• Stem Cell Harvest June 2017

• BEAM Chemotherapy July 2017

• Stem Cell Transplant July 2017

• P.E.T. Scan Oct 2017 (P.E.T. Number 10) first scan to show no cancer cells 100 day scan

• Remission Not official as I need to a further 3 months to recover but clear PET Scan

March 2018 I’m officially in full remission

• April 2018 my Mum passed away due to vascular Dementia at 86. We are heartbroken.

• November 2018 offered senior management position with JMC Van Trans, one of Ireland’s largest and most successful domestic distribution companies

• 2nd Jan 2019 commence role as General Manager (Cork) JMC

5 years – 3 terminal diagnoses 2 battles with Stage 4 Cancer, 2 wars won.

Never ever give up hope…

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