Tuesday, February 23, 2010


I'm not afraid today. It's been a year now since I was diagnosed with AML. In that time and with some prospective apathy has evolved to familiar depression and the reality that if tomorrow can't promise a better day, then damn it! I'm determined to make the best of it whether I feel like it or not!

And so with ambivalence still, I will celebrate, but that's my nature isn't it; chemo didn't touch that. I haven't given in to the apprehension of uncertainty that is the cause of so much anxiety, but rather learned to seize its ambiguity and accept its consequence with spontaneity and resolve. It doesn't get any better than that by any definition or standard. Contentment has come with that understanding.

My physiology is what it will be for now. Perhaps with conditioning this body I feel like I'm borrowing while mine, betrayed by medication, improves and repairs itself. Only time and work will tell now. The waiting is more difficult than the pain I feel, but I've gotten used to it. It's always been part of the treatment plan; something to do with fortitude I think.

My state of mind is circumspect but determined and focused nonetheless. I'm ready to work again, but only when my legs say it's OK and I can get my compression socks on by myself. I'm more confident now than I have been, sanctioned with the unwavering support of my closest friends and family. I hope someday I can reciprocate with the same devotion and kindness you've given me, none more so than Jenel without whom I would not have survived.

Very rarely are any of us tested to the extent that requires sacrifice. Many of you have demonstrated selfless character and given me encouragement and attention I never imagined I deserved. I feel more relief knowing people care about me than being in remission! I'm humbled by your generosity and inspired by your loyalty that throughout this past year has always made me feel better than I really did.

Disease has only informed me the treachery and betrayal that exists, and that no amount of anticipation or optimism can subvert its reign or prepare you for its devastation. Clearly, our health belongs to chance and the whims of uncertanty.

But chance has also surrounded me with people, either by serendipity or providence, with whom my survival was secure, if only for a little while. We share life, we rejoice, we live, we survive adversity and disappointment. We love and find comfort. In each others incandescence we learn and grow.

It is true that so many things are of little consequence without your health, and yet without your friends and family and people to love you, life would truly be unbearable, no matter what condition your in. Thank you for not leaving me alone.

with love Tom

Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.

--- T.S. Elliot


  1. ~tears~ pouring from my eyes....gratitude is right! and like you, i'm not scared anymore.
    i'm grateful for the strength you possess,
    and for your thoughtfulness. And Jenel definitely deserves A MEDAL!!!!
    We all love you Tom


  2. That was beautiful Tom. I can't believe it's been a year! I always try to look at the positive side when faced w/ adverse situations and so I must honestly say, were it not for your illness I don't think we would have gotten to know each other as well as we do today. And another bonus is that this is also the case in my new friendship w/ Jenel (of whom I can also profess to adore & feel gratitude toward.) I am vested in you as a person and as a cancer survivor, so there's no quittin' now, dude!
    So glad to read you are in a good place in your heart and your head.
    Post one year celebratory dinner soon!

  3. I applaud you Tom. I hope you continue to grow and become stronger mentally, physically, and emotionally every day. You are truly a remarkable man. We continue to pray for you and your continued improvement.