Many of my close friends and family are currently battling cancer. Leukemia, lung cancer, breast cancer, melanoma. On a daily basis they deal with terrible discomfort and fatigue, invasive procedures, and many, many, many trips to oncologists, testing centers, specialists, and hospitals for surgeries. The fear and heaviness of it all ripples out across families and communities.
Over the past 3 months I’ve gone through a little of that. I’ve had a number of blood labs and doctor visits, and last week I had my first CT scan.
But the great news is: I have the good cancer. Although Micosis Fungoides is described as a type of lymphoma, it is quite slow in its development. And even though we determined that I’ve had it for over ten years, UCSF Dermatology this week confirmed that mine has not spread beyond my skin, and is responding incredibly well to light therapy. As treatments go, it’s about as pleasant as you could hope for: 5 minutes 3 times a week I stand naked in a special tanning booth at my dermatologist’s office, a mere ten minutes from my home in Santa Cruz. And after three months of treatment, the visible signs of my disease are retreating, and living in my own skin feels better than it has in years.
This will be the story for the rest of my life. Perhaps reducing or stopping the light therapy as my skin responds, and then likely resuming light therapy when and if the skin markers return. Periodic testing to confirm that the cancer has not spread.
And it’s the good cancer for another reason: There’s nothing like a C-word death scare to make me appreciate my life. More than ever I am grateful for all the love in my life, for my family and friends, for meaningful work, and the blessing to live in a beautiful home in my favorite city in the world.
I’ve also gotten even clearer on my priorities, values, and choices regarding how I spend my time, and as I mentioned in my last newsletter, I’ve been inspired to be even bolder and more vulnerable in my signature talk.
In that regard, I’ve been invited to join the Fresh Inspiration Tour, and this Thursday, February 21st at 7pm, three powerful speakers/authors and I will be delivering our message at The Hivery in Mill Valley. Please click here for more information and tickets.
I hope to see you there!