Monthly Archives: August 2012

Day 34, 35, 36 – On the Loose

My name is Rick and I have cancer

These last 2 days were spent on the loose, bouncing around north Jersey and NY.  It involved 500 miles of driving with various stops along the way.  In short, it was great to be out and about with my kids.  I will admit that it wasn’t easy as I am still uncomfortable and get more easily fatigued.  But I can work through that aspect of my recovery.

Along the way we saw good friends; some old some not so much.  It is remarkable how caring people are so incredibly adapt at making this situation better.   They seem to know just the right questions to ask and then react in just the right way.  They know how to ask, how to push and how to back off.  The people we saw on this trip were those types of people.  Not everyone is like this but it is hard to tell until situations like this.  I hope I haven’t been spending too much time talking about myself.  It seems like people are interested but I worry that I am being narcissistic.  It reminds me of the skit I saw on Saturday Night Live.  I believe it was Al Frankin on a first date.  He was going on and on about himself.  After what seemed like eternity, he realizes he was talking too much about himself.  He then asks his date, “So, enough about me, what do YOU think about me?”  Too funny.  I don’t want to be Al Frankin.  NOTE:  I went looking for this quote online and couldn’t find it.  It is quite possible I misremembered it or jumbled it up with something else.  Maybe I just subliminally made it up so I could pawn it off on SNL in order to lessen my narcissism.  Oh well.

My mother-in-law is making significant improvement from the antibiotics.  I guess the infection was really debilitating.  It is fantastic to hear that she is doing better.

The oncologist called just to check in the other day. She was extremely impressed with my postoperative recovery. I admit that I like hearing that from experts. Is that my competitive nature showing through?  Perhaps they say that to everyone but I still like hearing it. We talked about my prognosis – a subject I don’t like – and she continues to use the word cure; as in that is our goal and it is a possibility. I love the fact that she is aggressive and hopeful.  I don’t like to talk prognosis because it won’t change my attitude so why bother.  Because of the large number of nodes effected, she wants to do radiation. I don’t care…. She could recommend just about anything and I would be game if it meant ridding my body of this awful disease.  I don’t care or worry about temporary discomfort just keep me alive for a really really long time!

I have been walking nearly every day. I am now starting to jog a bit just to get my heart rate and breathing up.  It feels great to exert myself.  On the first day of the holiday beach weekend, I made it to the end of the island. This was a secret goal of mine for a while and it was great to make it.  I walking along the jetty and watched the bay meet the sea.  I did the compass prayer while there. It was a nice feeling and accomplishment. I went hard on the way back too.  All-in-all a 1.5 hr outing.

I went to my second PT appointment.  The therapist was again impressed with my progress. I guess most people don’t do the exercises they give out 10x a day like I do. That is what she said to do so I did.  With her manipulating my neck, I get close to full side-to-side rotation of my neck. On my own, I am off by at least 10 degrees. She stretched the heck out of my shoulder.  It wasn’t fun but very necessary.  It must be a good sign because she had me doing strength exercises at the end even though she said originally that strength is something we do later. I guess later is now.

My head is still weeping and somewhat painfully.  Would really like it closed up so I can stop worrying about infection. While I NY, my daughter and I shopped for hats. I have a seriously small head and we couldn’t find anything that fit. Ball caps are in my future I guess.

The numbness from surgery is still profound but I am getting used to it.  When I am driving, the seatbelt runs right across a particularly sensitive spot. After a few minutes it begins to ache.  Over the past 3 days, I have driven about 8 hours and the ache can really get intense.  Touching the area doesn’t wig me out as much but it still is creepy. The worst spot is the middle of my neck because it the biggest area. It feels hot to the touch.  The numbness is so complete that I don’t even feel pressure.  Yuck.