Hi all . . . Jeff here. I don’t know how exactly it happened, but I’ve come to realize that the focus of my recent conversations with Dr. Legha has shifted from finding a cure for my cancer to learning to live with it. The shift was never explicit; we haven’t used words like “manage” and “chronic disease” but that’s the reality of what we’re now dealing with. So the next step in this journey is a return to home so that I can rest up, recover from my treatments, and watch the tumors to see what they decide to do over the next several months. I will return to Texas in June for a checkup with Dr. Legha. We’ll evaluate what the tumors are doing—they can stay the same size, they can shrink, or they can get bigger—and then we’ll decide whether to pursue another round of treatment.
Despite the circumstances, I am very happy to be returning to Wauwatosa. I’m happy that I’ll be able to see the kids every day. I’m happy that I’ll be able to see Kelly every day. I’m happy that I’ll be able to see so many of you as I resume a regular routine once again. I’m not happy that the treatment fell short of its goal, but it will be nice to get life back to normal for a little while at least.
I do have one request.
Since I’ve been down here, several people have sent me books about cancer. I must confess I haven’t read most of them. I picked up one of the books shortly after I got to Houston. It was written by a 15-year survivor of advanced stage lymphoma and was full of hope and good information. Yet every time I read it, I came away depressed because it simply served to hammer home one message: I have cancer. I didn’t want to be reminded of that fact any more than necessary. It’s not that I’m trying to run away from the reality of the situation; I know what I’m dealing with here. It’s just that I would prefer to focus my attention on the positive aspects of my life. So when you see me, it’s okay if you want to ask about my treatment and how I’m feeling. But I’d prefer if we could also talk about what the kids are doing or how Kelly’s pregnancy is going. Or tell me what’s going on in your life. I feel a lot more like listening now than talking.
In the meantime, please keep up your prayers. Dr. Legha told us that melanoma has been known to go into spontaneous remission. It’s not very common but it can happen. So there is reason to hope. And reason to keep praying.
Kelly and I will maintain this blog for use in the future. We will not be posting regularly since there won’t be much to report for a while. But check back in late-May to get news about our baby—Kelly’s due on May 22—and I’ll post some more updates in June after I meet with Dr. Legha. Thank you so much for all your prayers and support during the last three months. They have helped me and my family so much.