This is the tenth of ten Blog posts I’m devoting to counting down The Top 10 Alive with Clive Highlights of 2011. In this Blog post, I discuss Highlight # 1 – My Recovery From A Major Life-Threatening Illness.
In retrospect, 2011 was a challenging year for me.
In 2006, I was diagnosed with a condition on the top of my head known as cutaneous b-cell lymphoma. At the time, I was advised to have 20 sessions of radiation on the top of my head.
I was reluctant to undergo that treatment and embarked on an alternative course of treatment involving a change in diet and detoxification. Two years later, I was told by the doctor who originally diagnosed the condition that it had disappeared.
In the second half of 2010, the condition began to reappear. I wasn’t as vigilant and rigorous as I should have been about it, and again attempted to address it with alternative remedies. This time, no matter what I tried, the condition worsened.
By June of 2011, my condition was serious. I had a major growth on the top of my head and a huge lump in my neck that was causing so much pain it rendered me incapable of functioning.
Thankfully, I was told that my condition could be cured with chemotherapy and a drug called Rituxan.
I had my first session of chemotherapy with Rituxan on June 23, 2011. At the end of that day, I was disoriented. All I remember is being placed in an EMS vehicle later that evening and waking up the next day in the critical care unit at White Plains Hospital, with a catheter attached to me.
Fortunately, the drugs began to have the desired effect immediately and I noticed a distinct improvement by the time I was discharged from White Plains Hospital five days later.
Over the next three months, I underwent five more sessions of chemotherapy with Rituxan, and my health began slowly and surely to be restored. By the time of my 55th birthday on December 21, 2011, I was well on my way to a full and complete recovery. Today, I have gained the 30 pounds in weight I lost during the ordeal, and thanks to frequent visits to the gym am almost as fit and strong as I have ever been.
While in the hospital, I spent an afternoon writing extensive notes about my experience and plan to write a book about it.
In the meantime, I do want to thank and I am forever grateful to all the members of my family and all the doctors and nurses who rallied during that gloomy time to support me and provide the necessary care, treatment and nurturing to save my life.
I am also pleased to note that notwithstanding these health challenges, I continued to interview singer/songwriters for shows on Alive with Clive and recorded a show for every single week of 2011. As previously mentioned in the Blog post to describe Highlight # 5 – 50 Singer/Songwriters on Alive with Clive in One Year, which you can see when you click here, 50 of the 52 Alive with Shows in 2011 featured singer/songwriters.
To conceal the condition and the effects of the chemotherapy, I began to wear a hat during the show. Evidence of the condition, however, is most noticeable in shows that were recorded in the second quarter of 2011. And clips from these shows are on The Alive with Clive TV Channel on YouTube. I also have several photographs that show how the condition grew in the months leading up to the treatment that began on June 23, 2011, and then receded in the months thereafter.
From this picture taken on June 29, 2012, one year after I was discharged from White Plains Hospital, you can see that I have made a full and complete recovery:
While I was born on December 21, 1956, I was definitely reborn on June 23, 2011!
I honestly regard my recovery as a miracle and it is definitely The # 1 Highlight of The Top 10 Alive with Clive Highlights of 2011.
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