November 26, 2021

This week I celebrated a milestone event. It’s an important stop along my journey, that if given the choice, I would have avoided at all costs. Emotionally, physically and psychologically I now realize I am stronger after fully embracing it. This is my something. Everybody’s got at least one. If they don’t right now, as my Aunt Babe always says “baby, just keep on living”.

It’s a “no frills” routine. I check-in 15-20 minutes before my appointment. Take a seat and wait patiently. Periodically checking my phone for business emails. When my name is called, I grab my computer bag, greet my host and walk down a sterile hallway and into a familiar room with familiar smells and familiar faces.  

I make a point to greet everyone I encounter while simultaneously looking for an empty window seat. A view outside and at the clouds is a good distraction from the events about to take place.  The same is true, at least for me if I’m on a plane.  OK, found it.  I set my laptop bag down, grab my Gatorade Zero and set it on the pull-up side table. Pull out my laptop, login and relax into a familiar recliner.

I catch up with the nurses while they meticulously complete standard prep protocols. “Where is Amanda?”, “Did she finally move to Houston?” “I thought you said you were going to play some of your music?” It takes the edge off of the situation for them and everyone sitting in the exact same position as me.  I look around and can see a few smiles bloom.  That was for us.

Then my three-hour rejuvenation begins. Again.  But this time there is something slightly different. Today is a special day, or so I was told.  I am about to begin my 100th session.  These sessions have been performed without fail every six weeks since 2009, with one exception.  January of 2021.

Being a bit of a nerd, I was caught off guard when hearing of this centennial event. I pause and for a brief second, didn’t know if I should be happy, sad or amazed.   I silently chided myself, “you should have captured that data on a spreadsheet and known about this”. But after, 12 years, I simply lost track of just how many intravenous Remicade infusions have taken place. They’ve become normal. A essential part of my life. I would not be alive today without this minor inconvenience. Others would love to be in my shoes.  

A lifelong treatment regime that helps keep my life long. So it’s literally a special gift, not a milestone that I am truly thankful to have received.

About the Author Michael K. Francis

Michael is a C-Suite Business and Human Resources Executive with more than 30 years of professional experience in the public sector with four Fortune 500 companies, and as a Management Consultant. In 2020, he founded BEAM Executive Advisors, LLC to provide consultative services to clients based on collaborative relationships, trust, and integrity.

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