Saturday, January 9, 2016

Finally Meeting My Milestones

(Super excited to be surprised by my best friend, Will, up for a weekend!)

In the past week it has come to my attention that a lot of you are wondering, "How am I doing?". So for this post I decided I would go ahead and update on the happenings of my treatment.

As of last week, I received my final 5day inpatient chemotherapy. Due to the fact that scans are looking good, my "Tumor Board" and Oncology team decided to eliminate two entire months of chemotherapy- Totaling six treatments!

To me, I approach this with both excitement and concerns. 
On one half, this is amazing- the cancer is getting kicked and we are more concerned with the long-term side effects. (Notice "long term" here, that's a good sign!)
On the other half, I'm quietly remembering the not-so-beautiful odds that this cancer will return. Though my friends tell me to not let these ugly (and they are ugly) statistics haunt me- how do I not? They represent the enormity of my fight against cancer.
That being said- I'm nervously excited! 

This coming Wednesday I will be headed into the hospital for my last inpatient stay (2 days)!!! This is a huge milestone. In the last ten months of treatment, I have been inpatient at the hospital 130+ days. I am shocked that this day has finally come, yet way more excited to finally let my mind wander to the glorious days of normality that await me on the other side of treatment. After finishing my chemo, I will begin a few weeks of testing to see if I will make the cut for my Stem Cell Transplant. If I do, I will begin the second week of February. This grueling procedure will have me inpatient at the hospital for 3-4 weeks. Definitely won't be fun, but is very necessary. 

Overall, we can see that a lot is happening in Cancer-land. Milestones are being reached, cancer is being kicked, and normality looks almost within kissing distance. 

Yet, I find myself torn.

Now I am facing a different kind of battle. 

My main source of cancer-killing awesomeness is about to end.

What then?
How do I resume normal life knowing that my cancer could so easily return?
Has the chemo actually destroyed all of the cancer?
Will I suffer from a lot of chemo side effects?
Will I be joining the less than 30% that have beaten their Ewing's?

Which brings me back to the point of questions and concerns. One side of me wants to go absolutely nuts with the "Nursing Perspective" inside of me. The honest, statistical, fact-driven side of me. Yet I'm learning that with Stage 4 Bone Cancer- maybe that's just not good for my morale or mental state. Maybe it's better to leave my survival statistics to the One who allowed this cancer into my life. 

Quite honestly, I'm looking at just making the absolute most of these next five years. I want to be able to live life like a normal 20 year old. I want to accomplish my dreams of finishing Nursing school and take those trips around the world that I used to think were out of reach.

I want to live like my cancer will never return.

Honestly, the chances it will return far outweigh my chances of winning.

However, this is cancer-kicking Caleb, I have almost finished treatment . . .  

and I have an awesome life to live!!

(At 12:00 AM on New Years Day, the first thing I did was receive my last 5day dose! Way to celebrate, eh? )


  1. Great update, Caleb! We'll keep praying - and we're SO thankful for what God has done so far!! {Hugs}

  2. OH, Caleb!!! Praying for you as you enter these final steps. With that being said, you will make a fantastic nurse. You have been the and done that, You will be able to give your patients compassion, love, gentleness, and passion that many nurse may not be able to give them. Simply because of the cancer! It will be neat to continue to see your story unfold. With love, The Hagers!

  3. Glad to hear the news. We continue to pray for you.

  4. Caleb thanks for the update! We continue to pray you and your family!

  5. Prayers for you and your beautiful family! Stay strong if you can and know that so many are praying!


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