We did it!

December 23, 2011

Last Day of Chemo!

NO MO’ CHEMO!

It’s over. We ALL did it! A MEGA THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO GOT US HERE! If you are reading this blog, YOU got us here. This was an enormous team effort. We did it! We did it! We did it!!!

We had five of the happiest and saddest days at the hospital this week. We’ll miss all of our Vanderbilt friends, but we are overjoyed that our long days of receiving treatment are finally over.

SO WHAT’S THE PLAN NOW?

We will rest happily. Our new beginning has begun. We will start our lives over with a fragile new not-so-normal normalcy. We couldn’t be happier. We know that we will have a new list of challenges for next year, but we hope it will be easier than this past year. Sam will soon be getting stronger. He has his first set of scans in three weeks. We expect the scans to be cancer-free and we plan to take a vacation as soon as we get the “all clear” from the doctor. Life is about to get a lot more fun!

We came home from the hospital to a decorated and clean apartment! Thank You!

 THIS PAST YEAR

Over this past year, we had many bad days and scary nights. Over and over again, I found myself thinking, “If Sam can just make it through the day…” and “If we can just make it through this night…”. I always thought Sam would get better and life would get a little easier. That never really happened. From the diagnosis till now, life has been difficult in so many ways. I can’t imagine many things scarier than the nights we were up all night or at the hospital early in the morning. Sam’s days were plagued with illness and mine with heartache. Every now and then, we got a few good days in a row, or a week if we were lucky, but nothing more than that. It’s strange for us to live a life in which we don’t look forward to many things. Besides visiting with friends and family, we haven’t looked forward to anything but THIS day and it’s finally here. Whoop! Whoop!

Since the diagnosis, we have gotten mentally stronger, wiser, and more patient. We stopped questioning, “Why us?” and started thinking, “We’re going to get through this and we’re going to be a million times happier and more appreciative because of it.” We stopped complaining early on and tried to get through each day smiling if we could.

I spent a lot of our hospital time reading books written by cancer survivors. In one of my favorite books, someone wrote, “Cancer was the worst thing that happened to me. Cancer was the best thing that happened to me.” We think that is exactly what it has been for us.

Cancer has been the worst thing because of the unbelievable amount of stress, horror, and ups and downs we’ve been through this past year. Our world has been grim since April. This cancer will probably be the source of worry for years to come. It’s been the best thing because of all of you. We have laughed so much this year. Once you or the person you love is diagnosed with cancer or any illness, you kind of lose your inhibitions and start living the life you’ve always wanted. As cliché as that may sound, it’s true. Even though we consider ourselves unlucky, we are very lucky for going through this together, and with all of you. Throughout this year, we’ve learned the importance of positivity, family, and love. When you combine that with our desire to laugh and have fun, we have to believe we’ve got a good thing going for us.

THIS BLOG

This blog has been an outlet and a major source of entertainment for us. It has been a challenging and fun distraction. It’s hard to be sad when someone emails us comparing BB’s rear end to J. Lo’s. This blog has allowed us to keep everyone informed while putting us in touch with new friends all over the world. To every cancer patient, young and old, stay in touch with us and we hope you too can find a way to laugh.

THE FUTURE OF THIS BLOG

The blog must go on. Our updates will not be as frequent as they have been, but we look forward to keeping everyone updated on Sam’s progress in 2012. This blog is a part of us and the cancer community that we love which has given us so much love and hope in return.

MANY MANY THANK YOUS

We can’t thank you all enough for taking this journey with us. We read and reread every comment, email, and card you sent us. From Nantucket to Australia, you have all left a handprint on our hearts and we’ll always be thankful for you.

CONGRATULATIONS SAM AND THANK YOU VIDEO!

 

Moms, you are the best people on this planet.

With all the love in the world and warm holiday wishes,

 

Sam and Leslie Bledsoe

 

 

20 Responses to “We did it!”

  1. Nina said

    Hi Uncle Sam!

    Hooray for you. Now you can go home and hug your kitties and relax while you gain back your super human strength. If you are looking for kitty hugging pointers I have a video that may help. http://youtu.be/SqwKC8ZxljE

  2. Kate said

    Congratulations to both of you! My eyes got a little sweaty during this post and video, so I thought I would dispense with jokes about cats and butts, and just say that I love you both so much. I’m really looking forward to a steadily improving & vastly better 2012 for you–especially any parts that I get to share with you too!

    Love,
    Kate

  3. Neil said

    Congratulations and I love you both! What a perfect time of year to celebrate. Enjoy your trip and Merry Christmas!

    Love,
    Neil

  4. Neil said

    Also holy cow, who are those people with Dad and Uncle Bill? What have they done with our cousins?

  5. Sherry West said

    So very happy for you all,what a wonderful life you two will have,Merry Christmas and a very HAPPY NEW LIFE!!! God bless

  6. Ashley said

    Yay!!!!! I see many Predators games in your future 😉

  7. Sandy Smith said

    Hallelujah! So glad to hear you are through this huge hurdle. Here to a great 2011!

  8. gebe & judy mckittrick said

    could not be happier for you guys. 2012 should be awesome. love to you both gene & judy

  9. Frank & Kathy said

    Sam rounds third and heads home, here comes the throw, it is wide and in the dirt….SAFE at HOME ! Way to go, have a great Christmas and looking forward to great pictures from the upcoming vacation(s).

    Frank & Kathy

  10. Lovel & Don VanArsdale said

    Congrats! Our prayers and thoughts are with you guys every day. Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

    Lovel and Don VanArsdale

  11. Whitney said

    I’m so happy this year is over for you two! You are both incredible. Bring on 2012!

    Love,

    Whitney

    ps – You have an impressive number of people in your lives with small pets amenable to being filmed.

  12. Son said

    Much, much congratulations to you both. Your entries throughout this year (especially this one) often leave me a lttle teary. So, I look forward to new postings about holidays, vacations, new beginnings, and more cats’ behinds.

    Wishing you both a much healthier and happier 2012 and years to come!
    Son P.

  13. Therese said

    Sam and Leslie – Congrats on finishing the year strong! The blog has been a source of info AND entertainment. Thanks for letting us in and letting us share this journey with you. Have a cold one for me at the beach! And may 2012 be a much calmer year. 🙂

  14. Bill Bledsoe said

    Sam & Leslie,
    Congrats to you both on this important milestone on your journey. It was so great to see you both this week, and hope that you’re able to get some much needed rest so that you can dive right into 2012. Might I suggest a trip to a beach? 🙂 We hope to see you at some point in 2012 in the Pacific Northwest… until then a very Merry Christmas to you and the cats!
    Love,
    Uncle Bill

    PS: Yes Neil, those ARE your cousins. 🙂

  15. Tara said

    Congrats!!!!! So happy we can start planning trips to SatCo and concert outings in place of Infusion Center Au Bon Pan rendezvous 😉

    Also, best parts of the video:

    -Nina spliced in between all of the videos…too cute.
    -Melissa’s interview conducted in front of a stack of folded Dick’s t-shirts…always working the lady, even during her video address!!

    Have a great Christmas, miss and love you both.

    Love Always,
    Tara

  16. Tara said

    Ha…and by “Au Bon Pan” I meant “Au Bon Pain”…where is the spell check on this message box? Can we say lemme lemme upgrade ya in 2012?

    😉

  17. Kristen said

    Congrats Sam!! I am so proud of you throughout your struggle. Best wishes for you and Leslie to have a wonderful and healthy year ahead. Love and miss you both. Hope to see you sometime soon!!

    p.s. Fat P says hi.

  18. Max said

    Sam! Was going to send you an email wishing you and Leslie a Merry Christmas and to check that your last round of chemo had gone through alright, but when I opened up my email there was a blog update notification in there. 🙂

    Congratulations! I know this last year has been insanely rough, and can hardly imagine going through something like this myself (even less-so, without this blog). Hope you enjoy the beaches and that 2012 sees you getting healthier, stronger, and happier. I imagine you two, all your family and friends, and everyone following this blog are as excited as I am about your completion of this part of the journey.

    Merry Christmas, and a Happy Happy New Year, Sam & Leslie!
    -Max

  19. Holly said

    Merry Christmas and congratulations! May your future be blissfull, boring, and simple. And filled with good health, of course. 🙂

    Your cousin,
    Holly

  20. Bonnie said

    I’m so happy and relieved for you both. May God continue to bless you abundantly in the coming years. Please know that you are always in my prayers.

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