A Lot To Be Grateful For!

24 Dec

Well, right now I am in Australia, celebrating the holidays with my extended family, and I think it’s safe to say that I have a lot to be thankful for. Since my last update, I’ve completed another four rounds of chemo. One of the things that I’m thankful for is that my treatment continues to be smooth sailing; my counts have steadily stayed high, no signs of growth or swelling and remarkable recovery times after infusions. This means that in total I’ve now completed twenty-five of my forty-one infusions. Because of my trip to Australia I did one treatment two days early (moved from my normal Thursday to a Tuesday) and actually skipped one round of chemo. Interestingly enough my doctors felt as though skipping one treatment out of an originally planned forty-two wasn’t a big deal; especially considering that my treatment has been so successful. I think there’s something to be said about the fact that I don’t really have much to talk about in terms of my treatment. It’s been so uneventful and “regular” that to write everything out again would just be repeating myself. I now have roughly a month off before my next MRI and then hopefully starting my next maintenance round. Due to the uneventfulness, I’ve decided instead to talk about some of the things I’m grateful for.

I’m grateful that my Grandfather’s chemo has been so successful. My Grandfather is fighting T-Cell Lymphoma and after having a few unsuccessful treatments he’s found the chemo that’s doing the trick! He’s quite an inspiration and together we’re the Chemo Company! Love you, Grandad! It’s a blessing to be over in Australia celebrating Christmas with my grandparents, cousins, aunt, and uncle.

I’m grateful to be so fortunate as to go to an amazing school and to live in an incredible place in an amazing city. Moving this year has been quite a change in lifestyle; not only did I change schools but I also changed cities! I went from living in a house in the suburbs to an apartment in the city. Living in DC has been quite a change but it’s a welcome change! I’ve met so many new people and made many new friends. I look forward to continually establishing myself in an amazing new place. I’m so very lucky….. except that I’m not living in Nationals territory. Go Phillies, regardless of the fact we’re kinda terrible now.

I’m grateful for an amazing set of doctors and nurses. I hope that all of my doctors and nurses know how amazing they are and that I owe them big time. I imagine that what they do everyday has many challenges by their amazing attitudes every time I walk in the hospital makes all the difference.

I’m excited to be launching The Bear/Bare Cupboard (punny, right?), my fundraising effort to fill the outpatient chemotherapy pantries at Children’s National Medical Center. I hope to establish an amazing set of donors who are willing to help make a change in a hospital that helps so many kids and families. More information to come later.

I’m grateful for everyone who is following and supporting my journey. Your support means and does more than you can imagine.

Finally, I’m thankful for my health and my family. It’s been a turbulent year, but I’m so thankful to be where I am now, not only physically but also mentally. More than anything, I’m thankful for the immense support of my family. Without them I don’t know how I would be where I am today. They’ve sculpted me into the person I am today and I am forever grateful.

I hope that you all have an amazing holidays and enjoy so much needed (at least much needed for me) time off. Again, thank you.



5 Responses to “A Lot To Be Grateful For!”

  1. Peter Rawlings January 1, 2014 at 6:05 am #

    Hi Josh and I trust your return trip home was a safe and good one. It was not only a delight meeting you, but it was inspiring meeting you, at the home of Greg Hunt together with your parents Kim and Tony. Your courage and willingness to share your personal story is a tribute to you. You will remain in my prayers as I continue to receive the news via your blog. Every good wish and Every Blessing Josh. Cheers, Peter Rawlings, Mt Martha, Australia

    • joshtmeadows January 1, 2014 at 11:54 pm #

      Hi Peter. It’s great to hear from you again.

      I’m glad you’re enjoying the blog. As I’ve been telling people, I wish I updated it more frequently. However, with school it’s very difficult to update it weekly as I did over the summer. The good news though is that if I did, I would just be repeating myself.

      I really enjoyed meeting you back in Oz and I really appreciate all your support. We’re back in the states now, but if there’s any questions I can answer, please just let me know.

      Wishing you the best in 2014,

  2. Sue Barjak January 1, 2014 at 4:01 pm #

    Josh – we are very thankful that you are responding so well to your treatment. Wishing you all things good in 2014 and sending lots of love to you from NY…..Sue, Greg, Thomas, Evan and Eloise xxxxx

  3. chasscrew January 6, 2014 at 3:37 am #

    Sending all good wishes to you and your family!

    Anne B. Standish abstandish@aol.com

  4. kikijanel January 1, 2015 at 8:49 pm #

    Hi Josh,

    What a distinct pleasure it was having you in my first class cabin on the 787 Dreamliner from MEL to LAX on Dec 29. I knew upon interacting with you what an exceptional young man you were- bright, witty, thoughtful, articulate and so very polite. I remember thinking to myself, his parents have done a remarkable job of raising him and how proud they would be to see their awesome son in action. It’s not every day that a teenager travels solo on a flight taking them half way around the world, but you’re an old pro of sorts and your travels throughout your lifetime have certainly given you the opportunity to mature to a degree not known to many of your same age. You are an impressive young man and like I said to you shortly after meeting you, you’re just plain cool. Then, as the long flight to LA progressed, we had an opportunity to chat a bit in the galley, which is when you shared your story with me concerning your journey with cancer treatment. And I was blown away at your amazingly positive and upbeat attitude with all that you’ve dealt with. You truly are a remarkable young man. You are and will continue to be an inspiration to many. I have shared your story as well as passed along your blog info. It is no coincidence that certain people are placed in our path and I am grateful to have had the pleasure of meeting you. May the New Year bring abundant blessings to you and yours. God Bless You Always, Josh.

    Kirsten Myers
    aka Your First Class Flight Attendant 🙂

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