I hope that everyone is healthy and doing well. My last appointment went very well. I have been lucky that Froedtert has scheduled my appointments in chunks, or right as my lunch at school starts. I have been able to get to Froedtert for my tests and check ups without having to take any time off at school. My last set of blood tests came back with a few results coming back better than my last test. That was reassuring. It is great to get good news. Dr. Palmer was running late so I did not get to see her, but I will at my next appointment. We have talked the last few appointments about beginning the weening process again with my prograf (anti-rejection). I am looking forward to finding out my prograf level at my next appointment, and finding out when my year eval is going to be. I cannot believe we are almost at a year already. In some ways it feels like I am still hearing that I have Leukemia for the first time, and in others, it seems like forever ago. So many things have happened, and really it has all been the same. When you spend so much time in the hospital, you don't really see all the things that you care about....but you also feel so busy. Tests, exams, meetings, staying active, resting, sleeping, but missing all of the things that you care about. Thinking about it makes me even more happy to be back doing the things that I love to do. From the small things like being able to go out to eat with the family, or spend time outside...it was amazing. Molly, Adeline, and I had the chance to go to a small party at a friends house to watch fireworks. Just being out with the family, seeing friends was hard to express. Traveling up to Green Bay or Eau Claire to see family, or meet some friends in Madison...there aren't words to explain how great those things felt. Got back to a Packer game thanks to my friend Cal and his Dad...who gave me his ticket to the season opener for the Packers. While at the game, getting to meet and hang out with two other cancer survivors...wonderful. It is strange to have such a great connection to someone who I have only met once. I got back to coaching...officially...with the boys soccer team starting in August. Unfortunately, the boys had a rough loss in regionals, but they worked hard and improved through-out the season. With also having the head hockey job as well, it was such a great start at getting back to the things I love to do. I cannot believe that the hockey season is almost here. Try-outs on November 5th...wow. Teaching and being back in the classroom has been amazing as well. The saying that, you don't know how much you love something until it is gone applies well. I knew that I loved my job, but didn't realize how much I would miss the kids. Even the hard times, when they are stressful, or mad, or tired, just feels great to be back in the classroom. Days have been really busy, and by the time Saturday is over, I am tired...but it is a good tired. Molly continues to be saint-like...although, at times, I am pretty sure she liked it better when I couldn't talk :) The "cancer card" doesn't work on her anymore either...I mean come on!! Some of the things I missed have still weighed on me pretty hard...the things I missed with Adeline, some of my very good friends weddings, I still feel like I have missed some important things. However, I think the fact that I am still here is so important, as one of those friends recently had his first child!! Congrats to Nick and Rachelle...amazing you guys!! Crazy enough, I have three friends left to go...Clark, Thane, Brent....good luck gentleman! I cannot wait to meet all the awesome kiddos. I was cleared to start doing some more activities, such as hitting the golf ball and running around on the soccer field. I know that school is going to continue to be great, and I am excited for my first birthday on December 3rd. This situation has been so great, I get to have two birthdays now.
In more disappointing news, I am sending a ton of prayers to my friend, mentor, neighbor, and an amazing person Chuck. This man is one of the most genuine, caring, and amazing people I have ever met. I know that anyone who has had a class with him at the University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire knows this. For all those who prayed for me and for anyone that was sending thoughts my way, please make the effort to say a prayer, think good thoughts...and even more, hug a person that you may take for granted. I love you Chuck, I am thinking about you and praying for you.
I know that there may not be a real pattern to this blog. More of all the thoughts I have had over the last 2-4 weeks. There are probably a million small mistakes as Molly isn't close by to tell me that what I am writing is hard to understand and that my sentences run on and on and on and on......
Thank you Molly, thank you Adeline, thank you friends and family, as we move forward, I hope that I can continue with good news and follow that with an amazing report from my one year appointment. Wear some pink for breast cancer, orange for Leukemia, find your color...hopefully you aren't impacted directly by cancer. I hope that everyone is happy and healthy...Tony