Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Top 10 Perks of Being Treated for Follicular Lymphoma

Cancer is serious stuff.  I know that.

There are many aspects of the disease that just can't be sugar-coated. And there are many people who have both a more challenging diagnosis and a tougher treatment plan than I do. Yet in my case, a diagnosis comes with some silver lining;  a deeper connection with friends and family, a stronger sense of gratitude, and even a renewed sense of purpose. Those exist side by side with the uglier side of the disease. That said, these larger truths are somewhat expected, at least in hindsight. Blogs, and other outlets (including this one) are filled with so many stories of deeper appreciation that it becomes almost cliche.

As I begin my third chemo cycle tomorrow, I've also noticed a few unexpected benefits. Granted, I'd gladly give up all of these if it meant I could get rid of the cancer.  But since I can't, to lighten it up a bit, here are my Top 10 Perks of Being Treated for Follicular Lymphoma (with apologies to Letterman). 

# 10. Legal use of steroids. Get that buff feeling without working out,

# 9. Emails from friends you haven't heard from in 10 years. 

#8. Frequent e-mails, texts and calls from close friends and family

#7. Playing the chemo card - "Sorry, I can't make the 3-hour chimes concert. I need a nap."

#6. Discount hotel rates in Boston (okay, only at one hotel, and only if you have appointments)

#5. Being the only one in the room who can quote Arnold from Kindergarten Cop  - "It's not a TUmah"

#4. Six hours of football watching with no guilt 

#3. Get out of dentist free card

#2. Goodbye insomnia.  Hellooooo Ativan! 

And the number one perk of being treated for follicular lymphoma is...

 Being one step closer to no longer being treated.

Here's to being halfway through treatment after this cycle.