The family is back at home after 6 days apart. I would like to pass on having to do that again. So far all seems well in chemotherapy land. My body has done extremely well and is ready to tackle this week and adjusting to life post chemo. In the next 48 hours I will get a white cell booster shot. The doctor said that will make me feel like I’m getting the flu and my bones will hurt from within.
I wanted to take a second and thank my wife, Kendra, for here extra special care to not only me but out little ones. I know she must be really stressed and stretched thin right now. It was simply amazing having her at my side at M.D. Anderson.
The last 30 days has been a month of learning. I have learned my small hip injury is stage 4 cancer. I now know the difference between B cell and A cell Lymphoma. I know that you must swipe your credit card fast in order to pay for parking in Garage 10. The most important thing I have learned is the love of a parent is grand. I knew that from the first time I held my own child and all sorts of stuff my parents said and did over the years finally made perfect since. Its just the way life works and until you become a parent you might not fully understand how much your parents truly love you. If this month teaches me anything there is a lot more to learn about life.
Stick with me as I work through this
In Houston’s medical district there are a lot of powerhouse facilities. From the top of the M.D. Anderson tower you can see St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in one direction, Baylor in another, Texas Children’s is just across the street, and I think there is an A&M vet clinic down the road. All joking aside I tear up when I see the Texas Children’s hospital and think about the kids who are fighting it out next door. I think about back when our Benjamin was born and might need to be studied at Texas Children’s.
Meet Benjamin West Perrin
It was just about 3 years ago when son #2 was born. Our Sweet Benjamin. We call him that because we hope he might be sweet someday. Today he is full of energy and life. A lot of energy and life! His life didn’t start that way.
We had a lot of people praying hard that days like this would come. When Benjamin was born he had an under developed airway that needed to harden up a bit. It was so bad that he would stop breathing and have to be shaken to start up again. We took shifts on staying awake to monitor his first days and make sure he had future ones. People from all over were praying for him and his growth. I think we now could use some prayers for strength and energy to keep up with Sweet Ben-Ben.
We love this guy and are so thankful he made it passed his very rough start
Those first 5 days of Ben’s life out of the hospital sucked. At one point we were presented with a doctor who wanted to put him to sleep and scope his throat to see what could be done. Another option was getting an opinion at Texas Children s Hospital in Houston Texas. Long story short, Dr. Mintz was able to diagnose and give us great peace of mind. We didn’t have to put little Benjamin under and we didn’t have to travel great distances for 2nd opinions. The love and prayers were amazing. Since that time I had always wondered about Texas Children’s Hospital but it was never a tangible object. This week it stands out big and bright. It reminds me of the love of our few day old child and wishing I could simply take what he had so he could be health. You sit there and pray that you would take any pain or problems just as long as your new child could have one healthy day. Praise Jesus Christ Ben’s healthy days arrived and we get to enjoy him and his energy.
It has been a very positive week, but somethings just bring a tear to my eye
So I bring you back with me in M.D. Anderson. I have been running around observing people and families taking care of each other and taking care of “the one” with cancer. There is a sign in the wall that reads something like, its not one person who gets cancer, its a family. Minutes later I see a family with two 20-somethings helping their elderly father make it to the break room. They are all working so hard to keep it together and not splash dad on the floor. I stopped and thought of how hard it would be on my emotions to have to take care of a parent as a kid. Yes, that is the natural progression of things and the youth help the elders. Its also natural for the new generation to bury the old.
Then it hit me
Well crap I now get it. (I think I do, member from the first paragraph, I’m still learning) My parents have been with me since day 1 of cancer and have been here to support me and my little family. It wasn’t till today that I was able to see what it was like to see their baby boy helpless. Their support has been grand and powerful. At times I think they are pushing too hard or a pain in the butt. In actuality they are doing exactly what I would be doing for one of my 3 kiddos. A parental love is strong and I pray that over the years I will get a better understanding of how deep that love runs.
Whats the reason for all this cancer crap
We might never figure out why cancer came to visit Derrick Perrin. We will always have questions and you can “Why Me?” yourself to death and that will never solve a thing. The thing I do know is that cancer has brought my family together. When I mention family its not just blood but the network of amazing people God has put in my life.
So to my lovely parents thanks for making sure I always have more than I need and I’m well taken care of. I thank you for all you have done for me, Kendra, Grason, Benjamin, and Sophie. We would not be in as good as a place without you.
I sat outside the doctor’s office where I had my MRI done. I opened up the paperwork preparing to see the length of my Hip labral tear and I did get that and so much more. In that same report I got the news that I had cancer. In that same second I got a new perspective on life. 15 minutes after reading the results and letting it sink in I had to pull the car over and reread the report and make sure Derrick Perrin was the name attached to the report.
Yep, it was me on the top of the medical report, and unless the scan of my most inner bits was 100% wrong I have some form of cancer. After the tears stopped I immediately had a new focus. I don’t know how others handle the information but my first question is how long do I have to live. I bypassed the “How bad is it” because I knew it had been hurting me for quite a while wasn’t getting any better.
As I sit today I know its a stage 4 diffused large b cell lymphoma.
When someone has a car wreck or a heart attack and dies they leave us abruptly. They are gone it a flash without a chance of saying thank you or goodby. I’m lucky and see the world through my cancer glasses. The world is so beautiful this way. I’m not sure if other folks can truly understand. Before I was diagnosed I knew a few folks who had cancer and had a perspective that only comes with cancer. I just couldn’t figure it out till I was diagnosed. Its like a switch went off, or on depending on how you look at it.
I now sit in M.D. Anderson. I’m on day 2 of 5 of chemotherapy. These last 3 weeks have been hard as shit. Be here, be there, come quick, wait long & come back soon. If taking care of cancer was just taking the right medicines I think there would be a higher survival rate. But having a new look on life helps get past the crap easier.
And back to how cancer is a beautiful!
New Living Translation – Psalm 139:16
You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.
So knowing I don’t really have control helps and brings be comfort. We all know we are going to die sometime. We don’t know if it will be why we sleep or in a car accident or any other way he has chosen. We just know there is no fountain of youth and a day has already been chosen to meet our maker. In my new vision on life I can properly tell folks thank you and what they mean to me in my life. It gives me a chance to say goodby. We don’t know if that goodby is 3 weeks, 3 years, 30 years or longer. I get to share love with everyone who has shared their love with me. Each passing day I find there are more and more of you out there. If you have reached out I thank you so much and if I don’t get to personally chat with you please know I cherish each and every letter, card, comment, prayer, like, & share. You guys make this fight a lot easier to face. I’m trying to write more often and will be expressing things here. I’m finding a way to fold up the macho man appearance and share whats going on inside.
Derrick Perrin at the observation deck at M.D. Anderson – Houston, Texas
Thank you for the love and prayers. I appreciate all of you and am thankful I have what I have because I have been shown a greater love than I ever knew was possible. I’m trying to share that love back. I’m not wishing everyone could get cancer, I just wish everyone could see the world the way I do now.