The on-going, first-hand tale of a journey through medical oncology... and what happens after.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


Hello. Remember me? I've been "off-blog" for nearly a month now, and have been feeling more and more guilty about that. So, where have I been, you ask? Well, I have been wallowing in the distraction of not having any more chemo-therapy to endure. I have been swimming in the warm waters of a slowly healing body, experiencing the flavors of beer, wine, scotch, and ethnic foods as often as possible. In short, I have been trying to reclaim some semblance of normalcy at the end of Ed's cancer-year.

My fingertips tingle a bit all the time, but especially when I exert any pressure with them (like typing) - and I have a lot of trouble with the collar buttons on my work shirts each morning. I mistrust my fine finger coordination, and have found that I drop things more often than I think I should. My feet tingle constantly too - and this is especially difficult at night (when I think that my feet are extremely cold but they are just, ummmm, tingling).

I would say, though, that getting *away* from cancer-world is virtually impossible. My family and I went on a very relaxing cruise in the Eastern Caribbean. We enjoyed warm weather, calm seas, wonderful meals and no responsibilities for seven straight days. We enjoyed each other's company as well as the companionship of several hundred strangers, and were treated royally by the staff and crew of the Celebrity Millennium. We frolicked on tropical beaches, we enjoyed the massages, the tropical fishes, and the shopping in far-off ports. In short, we had a lot of fun. But I couldn't seem to shake the nagging feeling that my world is still shifted from the *way it was*. My port is still bulging out of my upper-right chest, and I know I have a CT scan tomorrow and an appointment with my oncologist next Wednesday.

Respite - a break from the way things are - is essential. "Vacation" is an Americanism that I have never found to encourage relaxation. I tend to try to force too much *stuff* into too little time, and end up stressing out about the content of that time. This cruise ended up being a great respite for me, but only after a couple days' worth of stress about spending money and over-planning daily activities. I am so glad that we went, and glad for the companionship of my wife, my daughter, and my brother-in-law... and for the anonymity of cruising with strangers. Sometimes getting away from "it all" is impossible, but we managed to get away from most of it. And for this I am most grateful!

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