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Monthly Archives: December 2012

Day 155 – Rejuvenation

My name is Rick and my cancer status is unknown…

The time here in Florida has been wonderful.  The weather has been the best it has ever been in the dozen or so years we have been coming over the holiday break.  Everyday is filled with plenty of sunshine and warmth.  While it would have been therapeutic just to have a getaway here, the excellent weather made it that much better.  I am so glad we made the trek.

Medical

Yesterday was a somewhat normal digestive day.  I felt hunger at about the right times and was able to eat actual meals; all while still downing 2 of the yummy Ensure shakes.  I have no idea if I am gaining weight but I am certainly not loosing any.  I am starting to get some taste back but progress is slow.  Salt is still completely gone while some other tastes have come around a little bit.  The sores in my mouth are under control and healing nicely.  One way I know is that I can now move my tongue to all areas of my mouth, something I was unable to do just a few days ago.  The horrible taste from thrush is also fading.  The upper body itching is also significantly less of a bother.  While I don’t feel good or even normal, I feel quite a bit better.

Lazy Days

Most days are pretty uneventful.  We have lazy mornings and moderate activity until around four.  At that time, we begin the ritual of preparing for some type of dinner.  I generally lay around and wait while others primp.  Last night, we went to a higher-end tapas restaurant.  I was told the food was very good by the rest of the family.  It certainly looked and smelled good.  Everyone really enjoyed their meal and the time out.

Uncertainty

I find myself thinking about the uncertainty of my situation.  While I have a number of doctor’s appointments lined up in the next few weeks, the expectation is that they will reveal nothing new.  I assume this because of all the relative good news I have had with the surgery and the response to ipi and radiation treatments.  I assume that nothing new means no new cancer therapies, which would be nice.  But what does “nothing new” really mean?  Is the cancer really gone or is it dormant in some fashion?  Will the cancer rear its ugly head sometime in the future?  Does melanoma go into remission like leukemia or can it be “cured” as my oncologist stated as a goal at the beginning?  Have the measures taken to “cure” me caused other long-term health problems?  For example, am I at risk of cancer from the extreme radiation I have been subjected to?  Will my range of motion ever come back or will I ever have a full taste of food?

These questions raise lots of uncertainty and I suppose uncertainty is scary.  I know at the vey beginning of this process I was scared because of it.  Now I am mostly curious about how the next chapters will unfold.  Uncertainty is baked into who I am from here on out and there is nothing I can do about it.  I am not afraid to die but obviously I’d rather not.  I am not afraid of all the future possible treatments I might need to go through because I have so much more life to live.  I am sure they could be horrible but not worse then the alternative.  Perhaps I am just in denial.  Or perhaps I am reminded of the serenity prayer I wear around my neck… I cannot control what the future holds for my cancer.  If it is gone, it is gone.  If it is still coursing through my veins, it is still coursing through my veins.  I cannot control that so I cannot concern myself with it.  What I can control is how I feel about it and how I live my life from here on.  I continue to feel that I have excellent medical care and that I am doing the best I can to treat my illness.  While there is always something more that can be done, we are doing our best.  Sure I could travel the world looking for different therapies or radically change my diet but to what end will that serve?  For now I am looking forward to putting the past six months behind me, satisfied that good care was taken.