It’s been almost three years since I was diagnosed with stage 3, phase 4 non hodgkin’s follicular lymphoma, a blood cancer associated with swollen enlarged lymph nodes. I learned a lot about myself over the past 2 & 1/2 years, starting with the fact that I was human and not some supper creature.
When I opened Thompson Chemists the year was 1994 and I just turned 28 years of age. Jolie and I had no kids although that was about to change real quick. Within 5 years I built a busy neighborhood pharmacy one customer at a time that slowly began to devour all of my time. Back home Jolie and I now had three beautiful very young children that were getting plenty maternal attention while I kept telling myself I’ve got this independent community pharmacy thing under control and if I just work a little harder I’ll be able to take some off a couple of days and spend healthy quality time with my family. Well we all no how that ends up. All to often we neglect the present and allow negative patterns to continue. I had to fully exhaust myself before I finally began to take a day off. I worked seven days a week, fourteen plus hour days for seven years before I began to take just one day off a week. I slowly began shortening my hours taking better care of myself and enjoying my family. Well all was going along fine for a few years I had great employees and I was able to actually feel human for awhile. Then on April 4th 2010 our pharmacy burt down. Now it was a little bit before this that I started feeling some bumps. I went for a checkup had a byopsy and some other tests done and all came up negative so the plan was to wait and see a common approach in the early stages of lymphoma. I was scheduled to come back in 3 months but I was working out, swimming, studying martial arts, spending time with my family and taking care of my business. My view super human view was there can’t be anything wrong with me. So the months rolled by and then our store burnt down. At that point I had no intention of doing anything else but save my business. I worked day and night for 6 months and we managed to pull it all back together. I was ignoring the fact that my lymph nodes were getting larger and it wasn’t until a year later that I was finally diagnosed.
Now I’m a positive thinker but I was worried. I didn’t want to show this to anyone because the man of steel can’t show weakness to his family, employees, or anyone else. The treatment was aggressive but I went into with the right attitude which proved to be an essential part of getting through the first part of the treatment which includes high doses of chemotherapy for 6 months. Then 2 years of ritoxin a life saving drug for this condition. This month is my last month of scheduled rituxan treatments, hopefully for life. It all hit me and I wanted to dosomething for myself to show myself that I was ok and I will just be getting better and stronger now. the 1.2 marathon as the answer.