One Year

Here I am, one year since I got the confirmation that I was cancer free. In remission as the medical folks say or healed as I like to say.

I can still remember the first visit with the oncologist where, amongst other things, she said ” this will be a life altering event”. And of course it was, more that I was expecting and of course I didn’t even know what to expect!

Beyond the physical aspects which thankfully came and went the longer lasting impact has been the mental aspects. Very few, if any days pass where I don’t think about the Cancer experience.

As we’re back at the hospital for a follow-up visit and going up one flight of stairs I remember the first time up these stairs where I was out of breath from the exertion due to the tumor press on my lung. After only 2 chemo treatments I noticed a significant improvement on the stairs and today I can climb them with ease. Thank you Jesus!

These days the on and off battle is in the mind. A few days ago I watched a TV show where a guy about my age who had cancer and was in remission found out it had reoccurred and was dealing with telling his family that he wasn’t going to do chemo again. I was in a funk for about a day as a result even as I tried not to let myself think “what if…”.

Working on staying focused on my Healer and living large. So thankful.

Cycle 2 – Day 21

Blood testing and Doctor visit today in preparation for the start of Cycle 3 tomorrow.

For some strange reason I’m a little apprehensive about tomorrow’s chemo. Perhaps it’s that the mystery is gone after having treatments at both HSC and St. Boniface and from here on in it should be about the same. Perhaps it’s the realization about how long this will be and how much is still ahead. Perhaps it’s the way cancer, the drugs, the injections, the schedule and symptoms are always in the back of my mind if not in the forefront. I’m trying not to let this occupy all of my life but it feels like so much is on hold until this is dealt with.

I’m finding it difficult with all that’s happened so far in 2018 as well as making the adjustment into retirement to find my purpose and establish the flow and rhythm of my life that makes sense for me.

Cycle 1 – Day 20: Pre-Cycle 2 Meeting

Today is getting some blood work done to make sure I’m good to go for tomorrow’s chemo session and meet with my oncologist.

The blood work results won’t be available today and I’ll get a phone call if there are issues. However, it should be good as last Wednesday’s results for the port insertion were good and today’s results should only be better.

Drawing the blood for the testing was the 1st use of the port and everthing went well. One of the benefits of the port is that blood is taken by the Cancer Care group and you skip the normal lab lineup.

When I meet with the Dr. we discuss my status, how I’m feeling and my symptoms, which are all improving, some more that othersĀ and I’m having minimal side effects from the chemo, which is great.

In addition to my symptoms decreasing my LDH (lactate dehydrogenase) which was 549 before the first chemo treatment is now 268, which is another positive sign that the tumor is decreasing and the cancer is leaving my body. Normal range in an adult is 100-199, so a little way to go here.