Aftershocks & Employer, I Am Here! – Guest Posts

Sorry that I didn’t get a post in on Tuesday but things were a little hectic around here. We had a lot of visits to the site on Monday, Book Club Day, but not a whole lot of comments. There was a lot of enthusiasm expressed about the club so we sure will continue with it, making improvements where we can, hoping to make it accessible and relevant for the community.

Caregiver and friend

Caregiver and friend

Wednesday is Guest Post Day. Again I found two selections for you. The first is from Michelle who writes in  — Living Sunny Side Up a different kind of blog which focuses on children in families with a parent who has cancer.  Michelle is a mother and the wife of a Hodgkin’s patient in remission.  This excellent post is from the viewpoint of the caregiver spouse.


It seems as though I’m not the only one experiencing this as a spouse.

The earthquake has passed, the treatment is over, you’re using the words remission and survivor. Yet, there’s always something that makes you look over your shoulder. A pain, a twinge, a decision…something that makes the ground under your feet shift just a bit. You have to stop right where you are until it passes. Then you move on, until the next time that the earth trembles.

No one tells you about this….they circle the wagons, hand out the poison and make the love of your life well again. Then they let you figure out the living part on your own. And the people around you move on too, as they should. They are far enough from the point of impact that the ground shake doesn’t quite reach them. Unless, of course, they’ve had an earthquake of their own.

And it makes me wonder…what does an aftershock feel like to a child? What wil make my son’s ground tremble in the future?

— Living Sunny Side Up

The next selection is excerpted from an Ahh Life post in which our intrepid blogger, coming back from a stem cell transplant, offers reflections returning to the workplace with a new-found philosophy of life.

Employer…I Am Here!

But re-entering the job market has also prompted me to take a look at my personal desires and goals as they relate to the rest of the world. In short, it’s allowed me to ponder the question, “What is my purpose?”

At a recent wine and cheese event, I was blessed with an answer through a kind individual’s insightful comment. After talking with me for a few minutes, this gentleman said, “It seems like you are a person who lives your life with intention.”

Wow! That was the greatest compliment I believe I have ever received and one that I was proud to accept as very appropriate. “Living with Intention” is one of the most valuable gifts I’ve received from my experience of the last two-plus years. Let’s face it, we’re all going to die. I may have a better idea of what might take me. And, I may have veered closer than most to the precipus in recent years. But, at this time, I am no more likely to go over that cliff than anyone else regardless of what some ignorant individual may think.

I don’t believe I need to wear my cancer experience around my neck like a badge that defines me. Nor do I believe that I need to completely deny it. My intention is to use the lessons learned during my treatment as I continue to live my life, serve those around me, grow everyday, and try to give back some of what’s been given to me.

Ahh Life


About Dennis Pyritz

Dennis W. Pyritz, RN, BA, BSN, has been a cancer nurse since 1987 and a cancer and bone marrow transplant survivor since 2004. In December 2001 he was diagnosed with t-cell prolymphocytic leukemia (T-PLL), a rare aggressive form of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Dennis was treated with the then new monoclonal antibody, alemtuzumab (Campath) as this disease has a median survival of 7.5 months. He achieved a 26 month remission but relapsed in February 2004. He was retreated with Campath and went into a second remission. In August 2004 he underwent an allogeneic peripheral blood stem cell transplant with his brother, Mark, as donor. Dennis has remained in remission since - a near miracle. Throughout his career as cancer nurse and patient, Dennis has had the opportunity to speal to both lay and professional groups. Dennis has spoken on cancer topics and survival issues across the country as well as in the United Kingdom, Norway, Austria, Portugal, Honduras, Panama, Guatemala, Trinidad, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Cyrpus, Israel, and India.


Aftershocks & Employer, I Am Here! – Guest Posts — 1 Comment

  1. I just started a new job where they know I do a lot of volunteer work for the American Cancer Society but other than that they don’t know anything about me and cancer. It doesn’t effect my ability to do my job and its none of their business.

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