Spring victory

Sophie and I took a walk this morning to remind ourselves of why we fight cancer.   Actually, Sophie’s goal was to continue her eternal search for the perfect smell, and figure out why none of the robins will play with her.  I was out to get the paper.  To our surprise, we were overwhelmed by the delicious air, the constant birdsong and the natural excitement of a Spring morning.  The fresh wind carried with it not only rejuvenation, but also reward for getting through a tough winter in the war against the dread disease.

Short overcast frigid winter days are a drain on us all, but none more than those with cancer.  Bones and muscles ache, hands and feet are numb; the chill penetrates deep and the lack of sunlight leads to apathy and depression.  The snow-ice grey of January leaches strength and mobility.  Trapped inside our homes, we are reminded we are trapped inside our frail bodies.  Each faded day blends with the next and it is hard to feel warmth or hope.

Therefore, Sophie and I have a simple message to all those who battled cancer through the cold dreary months.  To the patients, wives, husbands, parents, children, and friends.  To nurses, aides, pharmacists, office workers, kitchen staff and doctors.   To administrators, scientists, billing staff and house cleaners.  It is Spring and it is beautiful.  You made it.  You deserve the reward of sun in your face, heat on your back, quarrelsome squirrels in trees, bright blossoms, cut grass, noisy streets, fresh baked bread in the air, and the vision of young love in the park.

Whatever Spring means to you, get out there and enjoy.  Celebrate the life, excitement and hope that is carried on its breezes. Enjoy a late sunset, a walk in the woods, rock on the porch swing, throw a ball and cheer at sport.  Let the smells, sounds and color bring joy and memory.  Share in this special time.

Why do we fight cancer?  We fight because we love every moment of life and it is never more glorious then a pristine morning in spring.  More than any monument of man, the celebration born of the freshening sun gives us strength, hope and glory.  Congratulations, you have survived; you are alive and these moments, this Spring, is for you.  Revel in the glory of life reborn.



  • While the timelines were different from my auto (November) and allo (August) stem cell transplants, spring did mark a rebirth in both. All too true.
  • What an amazing, life-giving post!
  • Mary
    Your sentiments were spot on for me today. I had an appointment with my oncologist (I'm a stage IV colorectal with mets to the liver) and at my last appointment my CEA was 0.5 and we are hoping this appointment and labs will mark my one year anniversary of no evidence of disease post liver resection. I work at the hospital where I've had most of my treatment and as I walking back across campus to my office, I was overcome by the sounds and smells of a newly minted Spring morning and smiling at my good fortune of health and of simply being here to witness the change of seasons through the grace of God and the miracle of modern medicine. I recently discovered your blog and love your writing. My onc is a quiet and mild mannered man but occasionally says things that make me think for days. Today's gem was "I marvel at how you have handled your disease and all that you have been through. I don't think I will be able to do it when it is my turn." His words and yours are a gift to patients. Thank you.
    • James Salwitz, MD
      Happy "birthday." Congratulations. May you have many more anniversaries and fabulous Spring mornings. jcs
  • Carolyn Esposito
    "Congratulations, you have survived." I wrote this in my journal today...on April 8, 2013 because this is the day that my oncologist told me she had looked at my MRI in a different way (along with 2 other radiologists). I had been told there is a melanoma met. in my cerebellum; but, in fact, it is a 1.9cm cavernous hemangioma. "Excuse me while I kiss the sky!!" Dr. Coleman told me that I will need to have a follow-up MRI in 6 months....you must know how I am feeling...along with my dear husband of 42 years and family and friends. Yes, it is a gorgeous Spring day! Thank you for your beautiful and thought-provoking posts. Carolyn
  • This post prompted me to finally write something and share your writings on Facebook. Everyone should receive the benefit of your inspiriing and hope-filled posts. I hope you go viral. ;-) Stay healthy; we need you!
    • James Salwitz, MD
      Thank you very much...there is so much to share and learn from each other. Jcs

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