Eight months ago our wonderful friend Harvey was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. His doctors told him not to look it up on the Internet because people with this disease don’t survive. For the next few months, his life was a living hell of hospital treatments, infections, and middle-of-the-night visits to the emergency room. He could eat no food not cooked in his home. He could have no visitors for fear of more infections. It was grim.
On Sunday, Harvey and his wife Tina came by for a short visit, and stayed for more than two hours. No, he isn’t cured. And yes, there have been setbacks along the way. But he has survived the harshest of treatments and his cancer is in remission. His blood cells have been harvested so that when he is strong enough he can have a stem cell transplant, his only chance for a real cure. He walks, he exercises strenuously and he has gained back the weight (and the hair) he lost. He is the Harvey we know and love.
Eight months ago, he thought he would never step into the ocean again. Last week, he and Tina went to the beach and did just that. In January, he thought he’d never see their vacation home again, and he will be there for the Labor Day weekend.
The stem cell transplant hasn’t been scheduled yet—his doctors need him to be in even better shape than he is. There is always the fear that his cancer will return and he won’t be able to have the transplant at all. And, of course, if he has it, it may fail.
But that doesn’t stop Harvey. He has made a reservation to spend two weeks at their favorite winter get-a-way next February.
Harvey and Tina and Peter and I have spent New Year’s Eve together for as long as I can remember. We take turns cooking elegant dinners for each other. This year it’s my turn.
I’m planning the menu.