Above and beyond (you know who you are)

I got the best possible news on Thursday: the PET/CT scan showed no trace of Hodgkins’ lymphoma, which officially puts me in remission after 7 months of treatment — well, actually 6 months of treatment and the longest 3 weeks of waiting I’ve ever experienced. Now I have 5 weeks off before going back for a checkup in September.

Even though I like to think words are my thing, I’m having trouble expressing how much everyone’s good thoughts, prayers and words of encouragement have meant to me throughout this whole experience. And that’s not even counting all the good deeds:

  • dropping everything in the middle of the night to haul me to the ER with a neutropenic fever (and more than once!);
  • sweet-talking my car out of UIHC parking prison;
  • bringing me groceries so I always had milk and OJ and good things to eat (when I felt like eating);
  • giving me a ride to and from chemo every two weeks so I didn’t have to hassle with parking or fight the sedatives to drive home.

Awesome as it is, that list doesn’t even include the incredible support I’ve received from my co-workers, which is even more astonishing when you consider that they had been my co-workers for a grand total of 3 weeks before I got sick. Despite that, they were right there visiting me in the hospital, bringing me books and magazines or just sitting and chatting. Once I was sent home, but before I was able to return to the office, they helped me set things up so I could access my work computer from home and feel like I was contributing even if in the smallest ways. They’ve put up with my frequent absences with grace, offered to help in a variety of ways, and just generally been the kind of office mates you dream of finding.

I guess that’s the theme of this post. I’ve been overwhelmed by how willing people were — are — to drop everything and help, often without being asked. I’ve never been very good at asking for help, and frankly it’s pained me at times to have to do it during all this. The fact that help was given so willingly and lovingly has made my heart grow three sizes, as the Grinch would say. (And not a minute too soon, as the people who know me would say.)

I don’t know what will come in the future. I’m not cured yet, as my oncologist was quick to point out. But I do know that whatever comes my way, I will be able to deal with it — with a little help from my friends.