The Great Cancer Adventure

October 19, 2017

- 2 min read

Yesterday was chemo treatment #3 of 6, and today's radiation treatment was #12 of 28, so I am, more or less, half way through this. Prior to chemo yesterday, Betty and I (and she's with me every step of the way!) met with the Oncology Doc, and he said I am doing very well. Encouraging of course, but he's referring to my tolerating the treatment and not having too many side effects, but this doesn’t address the outcomes, something we won’t know for a while, which is of course the crux of the matter.

About ten weeks or so after the end of this treatment regimen, they'll do some more testing to see what has/not been accomplished and then, if necessary (and apparently it is necessary more often than not), determine next steps. Again, surgery is out for now anyway, and more radiation is off the table, too, as 28 sessions is the max. There are more chemo options, and we'll cross that bridge when we come to it, if necessary.

I'm managing my expectations and pacing myself, while doing what I can to live my normal life; no matter what else happens. I want to be me for as long as possible, so maybe I’m more afraid of a loss of control or identity than I am the loss of life. For example, in addition to still working, I have gone back to the gym three times a week, even though I’m only doing lower body, low and slow, because I’m a gym rat. Period. I do need, however, to be mindful of the port in my upper chest which has tubing into the carotid artery in my neck, before doing any upper body workouts, so I am open to making adjustments. Being convinced I need to focus on what I can change, I'm doing everything I can to have a happy outcome and leaving the actual results to Divine Providence.

I am still impressed with the team approach at Mercy here in STL, but there are so many links in the chain that weak ones stand out, especially when there is so much excellence elsewhere. One of the young women in the lab (I have blood work done weekly) yesterday called me "Dear", so I called her "Sweetheart", which she didn't much care for, so maybe she'll think twice before condescending. Sure, likely there are many of her patients who might welcome such informal address, but Baby Cakes, I’m not one of them.