Monthly Archives: October 2012 - Page 2

Day 93 – Calm Before The Storm

My name is Rick and I have cancer

I am not much for cosmic alignment, fate or any other so-called “forces” that conspire to arrange, change or predict a person’s life.  I believe what happens in your life happens in your life because it happens in your life.  To assume otherwise would trivialize the response you make to a given situation.  In other words, you are in control of the things you can control and the random things are just random things without any higher power or meaning.  I believe that you are what you do and what you say; there are no other forces at play.  The “tests” we endure (e.g. car accident, storm damage, a business deal lost) are not generated by some other power.  Positive responses or outcomes to these tests are tributes to our effort, skill and even luck.  Failures can be the result of lack of effort, skill or luck.  Neither of these possible outcomes are preordained or dictated by some higher power.  Rarely are the outcomes heavily influenced by others because we all play a part in the outcome.  That is what I believe and have no problem with people that have an alternate belief.  I can feel the emails flying already….

The weather pendants are predicting an epic storm for the east coast.  They expect that in the first few days of the upcoming week, our area will receive huge amounts of rain, serious flooding and widespread power outages.  It is a relatively new phenomenon to have such accurate advanced warnings of an upcoming weather event.  And given the severity of this storm, it gives people time to prepare.  But once you are prepared, there is a calm of activity and hopefully of mind.  This is literally the really the calm before the storm.

It just so happens that this coming week is a huge week for me as well.  I receive my forth and final immunotherapy treatment on Monday.  On Wednesday, I start radiation therapy.  Just as important are birthday celebrations for both of my children (Tuesday and Friday) which bring with it welcome obligations of cooking and logistics.  I also have a significant number of work related activities in this coming week. It is like the perfect storm of activity for me and almost perfect alignment with the pending storm.  I am ready for the week and I am ready for the storm and I am really calm.  Is this some sort of alignment with an already difficult situation?  Is the storm some type of twisted metaphor?  Is there cosmic foreshadowing going on?  Is this a test?  Also remember, that I had quite a few scans 1.5 weeks ago and haven’t heard anything about them.  Does the storm have anything to do with it?  The answer to all these questions in my mind is of course a resounding NO.

As calm as I am, I admit that the impact on these next cancer treatments is a huge unknown.  I do think a bit about that unknown.  The immunotherapy drug is dragging on my energy level, forcing me into bed as early as 9 on some nights.  Yawning is something I do a lot.  I exercise everyday but it is not easy.  I seem to be improving of late but perhaps I am just getting used to it.  It would be great if the patient portal of my health system would post test results quicker so I might be able to see first hand if there has been any change in my blood counts.  What is going to happen when I receive yet another round of cancer drug in parallel with newly introduced radiation? The doctors certainly don’t know and neither do I.  Will I have enough energy to maintain the normalcy I have been working so incredibly hard to maintain?   Will I need to cut out exercise or cooking or food shopping or helping my in-laws or helping companies or volunteering or spending time with my family?  I don’t want to stop any of these activities and I don’t plan on it.  Will I be forced to stop something?

As I mentioned in a previous post, I have been compelled to keep a food log.  For the first five days, I have averaged 1,800 calories / day.  This is probably 500 less than I should take in but probably a normal amount for me over time.  I have not lost any weight but haven’t gained any either.