Every day that I draw a breath I am living on borrowed time. I was diagnosed with large cell lymphoma in 1992. I was told that I had eighteen months to live, that by the time I was diagnosed the cancer was in stage four and that even with extensive chemotherapy and radiation the outlook was grim.
The truth of the matter is that I got better with the treatment and went seven years without a recurrence of the cancer. Yet, the next time cancer reared it's head it was in the form of polyps in my large intestines. I had them removed and was healthy for several more years. Then in December of 2004 portions of my large intestines suffered damage from the initial radiation that I was treated with in '92. January of 2005 I was given my first colostomy and would go through series after series of bowel resections and abdominal surgeries. Finally in the fall of 2007 my worst fears came to life and the colostomy was turned into an ileostomy and would have to remain in place for the rest of my life.
Again, the doctor's and staff thought that I wouldn't make it through all of this and predicted that I would get seriously ill and pass by Christmas of 2007. Yet once again their predictions were far off the mark. It was December 6, 2007 that I found out that I had contracted the HIV virus and diagnosed as positive. The doctor's fearing that because my immune system was suppressed due to the cancer thought that the virus would spread through my body like wildfire and would soon kill me. So I was put on a strict and powerful regimen immediately.
No one could have guessed that in five short years that these same drugs would irrevocably damage my kidneys and I would end up eventually with kidney cancer. Since 2011, I have had kidney stones and bladder infections as well as two bowel resections, and an aneurysm. Then in March of 2012, I was told that not only did I have leukemia (large cell lymphoma is considered a form of) I was also suffering from radiation enteritis (disease) which is acting like cancer eating up my pelvic organs. I was also told that the radiation perforated the bowel wall in '92 and had made my pelvis very porous and weakened the walls of my colon and made them thin like tissue paper.
So you can see that I know a little bit about living on borrowed time. One thing I have done in this entry is gloss over a lot of my illnesses and just hit the pertinent information. Just know that today I am facing and dealing with 6 terminal illnesses .
So, from '92 till now everyday has been a gift from God and gives me something to give thanks about daily. I am about to head to Gainesville, to have the latest tumor removed from my body through surgery. Funny when I was diagnosed with kidney cancer I was told 6-12 months were all that I had left. Once again medical science is wrong on this account. My doctor assures me that I am going to come through this surgery and that they would be able to get all the cancer and I should expect a full recovery.
Living on borrowed time is something that not everyone gets. It is a blessing that I have been granted and a luxury that I have been able to enjoy. I am still here 25 years after the first occurrence of cancer. It was not something that I had planned or envisioned, but I am thankful for each and every day. I had never imagined that I would survive this long. Nor, could I have imagined that 25 years later I would have 6 terminal illnesses and have another surgery looming over my head.
Living each day to the fullest and staying in the moment is the only way to enjoy the precious gift that God has granted us. So, if you are like me and living on borrowed time. Make the best of your situation, share your life lessons with those around you and make everyday worth living. I embrace my illness and I use my life as an example for others so that they might benefit from my experience.
I love you all and wish you only the best. Keep me in your thoughts and prayers as I have surgery on March 28th. God bless you all.
As always Live well, Love much, and Laugh often.