Remission…Knock on Wood

Posted on February 1, 2013. Filed under: Cancer | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

WhooHoo! I had a visit with Dr. G today, my oncologist. My monthly blood work came back with “nothing to talk about,” which is code for perfecto! Nice birthday present. I enjoyed seeing a few of my favorite nurses who were so much a part of my life last summer during treatment. Anyway, Dr. G said I’d be on the monthly dose of Atra for a year. We went over the list of my side effects: fatigue, goofy dry patches of skin, low energy and shaky hands, which have all improved by about 30 percent since stretching out the doses of Atra. He also said I could mess with the schedule so I don’t have to feel like crap on vacation. WhooHoo.

I’ll also have to have another bone marrow biopsy in April and after that I get to declare myself in official remission. Right now, Dr. G says I’m probably in remission anyway, but a clear biopsy will make it official. At five years, I get to be declared “cured.” I wonder if I already put in a year?

Evading Cooties
Early in this blog, I referenced a creepy feeling that I’ve had for most of my life. The “feeling” is a notion that some major health challenge would hit me in my fifties. If I lived through it, I’d hold out for age 88. Weird, huh. Some might say the expectation created the reality, but I think not. So this 59th birthday means, if something is trying to take me out in my 50s, it now has less than a year. It’s going to have to be a piano falling on my head or blowing out a tire on a one-lane mountain highway because my body has proven its ability to blast out cooties and I’m pretty sure it can take on most anything at this point. Such is life. After 60, I’m good until 88 and maybe even longer.

Paint and Cake
Last night I stopped and bought a yummy cake on the way to art class to share with my class to celebrate my birthday. What a great combo!

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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Posted on June 22, 2012. Filed under: Cancer | Tags: , , , , |

My chin is almost bumpless from yesterday’s waxing, but I keep adding cortisone just in case.

My friend Maria asked to accompany me to my treatment today. I warned her that it was likely to take at least three hours. She said we could have lots of time to catch up. I warned her that it was boring. She thought otherwise. I warned her that it started at 9 am, which meant she had to be at our housed at 8:15 if she wanted to pick me up instead of meet there at a more civilized hour. She was fearless. She arrived at the house a little after 8 am. We were there by 8:30 am.

In lieu of our get-together, I requested a private room and was accommodated. No merry-go-round room today. I thanked the nurse and we reminded her that it was probably better that we wouldn’t subject the other patients to our laughter as it was that we could gossip in private….and talk we did. There was no downtime and I’m sure we could have gone on for at least another hour.

Later, we stopped at Selmarie for lunch and also indulged in gelato at the store across the square. It was in the 90s—not pleasant!

After Maria took me home, I worked on organizing my desk and finishing up some copy. I finally felt like I was making progress. Then, I took a little rest.

We ate dinner on the patio even though it was pretty hot out. Then we took a walk along the east side of the North Branch of the Chicago River. It was dark, but most of the path was intact and easy to navigate. When it wasn’t, we walked down the streets and enjoyed looking in the windows of bungalows. I want to bring my grandkids here. I want to watch them traverse the mulched path and watch the river flow past them.

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    A writer and cancer survivor chronicles her renewed dedication to art and words..


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