Science & Medicine

Five years and I’m still here


Kathy Van Meter

Hang on; my crystal ball is warming up (only kidding).

I was dx’d in early January of 2007.

My mom was on hospice  and she and I talked a lot about dying. What would it be like? Would Dad come and get her? Would there be angels? Would it hurt? Would I be ok? She thought that living to 83 was quite an accomplishment. She was “The Grandmother”, queen of the family and the love of our lives. She died with all her make-up on, her best wig, gold hoop earrings and her favorite tee, “CSI: Las Vegas” complete with picture of the star, William Petersen, who looked just like my dad in his younger days.

My heme/onc had a med student with her the day I found out the results of the blood work. He sat with me while she finished up with another patient. I asked if he knew the results and he said yes, but that it would be better if the doc talked with me. Never one to avoid the inevitable, I asked him to just tell me. He then said that I was JAK2+ which meant that I had one of three MPD’s (no N’s yet) and would need a bone marrow biopsy to pin it down.

Oh, and he said that it was a blood cancer and did I want to call someone. Guess one shouldn’t hear the “C” word when alone. It wasn’t until after the results of the bmb which I scheduled for the next day (first available), that I asked the big question.

Dr. S, of course, would not prognosticate. And I, of course, had already devoured the internet which gave me hope for 5 years.  Well, it’s been 5 years and I’m still here. I actually wanted 10 so that I could get my youngest boys raised. I noticed at the time that I limited long-term planning to six months to a year.  I did that for about 3 years, not so much any more. I don’t think I really ever fixated on “how long”, more like “how good.”

After all, 60 is the new 40. I remember my mom in her early 70′s, telling  me that the only time she really felt her age was when she looked in the mirror and a “senior” looked back. She then promptly quit looking.

Life provides so many opportunities for death; I can’t begin to guess which of them will actually take me.In the meantime, I shall do my best to stay present in the moment.

Take me back to the Contents

Take me back to More Stories.

© Kathy Van Meter and, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Kthy Van Meter and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Comments on: "Five years and I’m still here" (4)

  1. Debby Gearin said:

    Hi…I was diagnosed in 2001 with ETand am also Jak2 positve ( still have no idea if that is good or bad) , and I am still here..Taking things in life as they are dealt to me, have good days and bad days, but, I am living my life to the fullest…..The big C word doesnt bother me much anymore, the hardest for me is explaining my illness, because unless I am having problems with my counts bouncing all over the place, up and down, I think I look pretty good for a 55 year old….Take things slow but never give in to our disease……We are all strong and I love reading others triumphant stories…..

  2. Most people with with ET and PRV live out there life and usually pass away from something else. Enjoy each and every day and try to put the negatives out of your head. Some of the support members have had PRV for 25, 30, years years or more. Remember that new medications are coming out daily.

  3. Well stated, Kathy.

  4. Barbara Kurtz said:

    I truly enjoy the stories and the pictures this forum has. Your sons are handsome and I like the tie.

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