Word of Hope – Light at the End of the Tunnel

In June 2009, I was actually starting to feel like I was going to come out on the other side of this experience.  My blood counts were rising and nearing near normal levels.  This meant my immune system was stabilizing and I my red blood cells were carrying a lot of oxygen.  I started to use the treadmill in my basement a little more frequently.  I was probably on pace for a 20 minute mile, but that was not too bad considering I was not able to walk a flight of steps at my diagnosis.  My weight was around 185 lbs., which is probably close to my weight in 8th grade.  I could wrap my hands around my thighs, which was a little disconcerting. At 6ft 3in, my fit weight is about 220; my “I need to lose a few” weight is about 235.


It was in June 2009 where the idea of There Goes My Hero started to germinate.  I was feeling better, but I was not ready for public consumption.  Staying in an isolated, germ free environment was still high on my list.  I did have pneumonia at least once in June.  My business was all but gone, so I did not have to worry about those pesky clients.  Saying I was going stir crazy would be an understatement.  Strange things happen in a basement office with limited contact to the outside world. It was then and there that I started to piece together the beginning of There Goes My Hero.


July 2009, I started to feel better in spurts.  It was that summer where I started to fall into some tricky patterns, that in hindsight, I would not have repeated.  The trouble for me was actually part of the recovery.  I was starting to feel better, a little bit stronger.  My omnipresent skin issues were actually starting to dissipate.  I was weaning off the harsh drugs that helped alleviate my many ailments, but also gave me other side effects.  Gone were the mind altering anti-fungal pills, which were cause for hallucinations.  I was weaning off the steroids that made me diabetic, swollen and extremely moody.   I was experiencing some sense clarity.


With the drugs “coming off” and my feeling better, I was feeling stir crazy.   I started to make some forays out into the world.  This was quite premature. Many doctors, friends and family told me I should continue to lay low.  It was difficult advice to take and I largely ignored it.  I would describe the summer of 2009 as “fits and starts”.  I would become quasi active, go out into the world, then get pneumonia or find myself exhausted and sick.  I went on a family vacation in late June, early July 2009.  Thankfully, it was cool and rainy that week. I recall being feverish for much of our time away, but it was nice to be away with the family.  What I started to notice, though, was that the time between illnesses and setbacks was starting to get longer.   There was light at the end of the long, long tunnel. I started to share my ideas around There Goes My Hero with a few select people.