Thursday, June 17, 2010

One year anniversary

I had totally forgotten, until my mother called in a celebratory mood: today I have been cancer-free for one year! It is the anniversary of my "heroic" surgery, so named because the best doctors in the country agreed that it was the only thing that could cure me, even if they weren't sure that it would work. We had a wonderful conversation, talking about all the things that have happened since then, and how amazing it is that I am not only alive, but doing so spectacularly well. I feel altogether unreasonably healthy, and perhaps not coincidentally, the CT and blood work done earlier this week show no evidence of disease!

A three year long torrential flood of events has carved new channels and created new beaches on the riverbanks of my psyche. And while the flood has abated, the previously glassy flow of events is now swirled aside into unexpected eddies of doubt, and thunders up against new boulders of understanding, and spreads out onto fresh floodplains of reflection. And while I would not wish my disease on anyone, my life has been made so much richer by riding these waves. Every day, many times a day, I encounter situations that resonate with me differently because of my illness. Life has been and continues to be wild, and drenching, and scary, and exhilarating. What more could I ask for? Dayenu!

I have been busier than ever before. Yesterday was the last day of my Surgery rotation, which is famous among medical students for the absurdly long hours spent at the hospital, kowtowing to the established sado-masochistic hierarchy, all the while having stunning opportunities to engage with countless people during the most critical moments of their lives. There is so much to write about, but it must wait: I have an exam to study for!


In the Vascular Surgery Angiography OR: The number of pagers carried is inversely proportional to one's importance.

15 comments:

selena said...

totally fantastic!

Anonymous said...

Congrats Josh. Happy to hear that you are doing well.

Zack Canada

drewski said...

that is one sexy outfit you have on.

Anonymous said...

Congrats!! So good to hear that you are doing great! Must try to catch you on the phone, mate. Cheers, Georg

JJ said...

Love you, Josh, Cheryl and Daniel!

EricG said...

Congrats Josh

sbjcal said...

Congratulations Josh! Good to see your post. I like the way you write. Now you should start another blog about 'fortunate events' - like your journey through med school.

-- Satish

k mayo said...

hi josh

glad everything is going so well. good luck on the rest of the rotation! :)

katie

random said...

absolutely great !

Ashley said...

so happy and proud of you!

whatdoyouknow said...

This is a wonderful milestone. Sending love and care. You do write well, maybe there is an opportunity there for doctoring and writing??? Do keep telling us the things that are going well and hope you passed that test. ellen

Shielak1 said...

Amazing and very inspirational. Keep going and keep writing.

freudandfashion said...

congrats!..i'm a psychiatry resident and can't even imagine going thru an aggressive course of tx in addition to the stressors of med school, so your story leaves me truly inspired. i look fwd to reading your future posts..keep blogging!

http://freudandfashion.wordpress.com/

zhangtienling said...

Hi Josh,

Congratulations on your anniversary! I just discovered your blog and wanted to say how happy I am that you're doing well. I'm a third year medical student right now and also had an ovarian germ cell tumor nearly 10 years ago with pretty similar treatment, so I can sort of relate to what you've been going through. It's been really nice and sort of therapeutic to read all of your posts- I remember a lot of the same feelings! Anyways, good luck on your rotations and so glad that you're doing well :)

Megan
zhangtienling@gmail.com

Lauren McDaniel said...

soon it will be your two year anniversary...