I thought I'd share a few thoughts with my Imaginary Friends, having been away for a while. Despite the title of the thread, I know I do still have CML. I've had my stable MMR for long enough to have pretty much given up hope of ever getting to a fourth log reduction. But I am happy to say that I no longer feel defined by my disease. This is in no means a recommendation, but, for me personally, I had to take myself away from all you lovely people (and Trey) for a while to achieve that change.
I'm now three and a half year post dx. Taking my naturally pessimistic view on the pre-Glivec survival stats, that means that I have already been gifted 6 months of extra life by these wonderful drugs. That really puts all the side effects (which continue to be vexing and painful) into perspective.
I cannot thank the members of this site enough for all their help on my journey. The support, information and camaraderie I found here made an enormous difference to me and gave me the tools I needed to make that big climb from 'I have cancer!!!!!' to 'Sod the cancer, I'm going out to have some fun'.
I'm sorry to have vanished off and left you all, but I really needed that break from the constant exposure to this disease to finish getting my head together. For 3 years this site was always the first thing I read on waking every morning (or often in the middle of the night between dashes to the bathroom) and I needed to put some space between me and CML. In trying to make a break, I switched to other websites such as the cricket scores and the latest Spanish bond yields (neither recommended for cheering you up!) and tried my best to forget I had CML with, I am pleased to say, a pretty good degree of success.
I'll try and pop in from time to time in the future to keep tabs on how you are all doing (really sorry to hear that Ron hasn't been well Billie) but I thought I'd leave you with a few thoughts on what my CML journey has taught me:
1. Don't live your life as if you were immortal. Our time on this earth is fairly short and we should all try and make sure we have as much fun with it as we possibly can.?
2. Just because you have a medical degree doesn't mean you're not a dangerous moron?
3. There really are a whole lot of nice people out there.?
Taking my first point to heart, I am now trying not to fret over the economy either(nor the cricket), and my first website visit of the day now is always the weather forecast, the tide tables or other information on the best places to go kayaking with my boys. If anyone has wondered where I had vanished to, the answer is doing about six knots across Poole harbour using a golf umbrella as a sail, without a single CML thought in my head.
I salute you all