The 2011 treatment regimen is officially complete. May we (please) have seen the last chemical infusion pump...
This second lost year is harder to reflect on than 2007. Then, it seemed like I could just put the whole cancer business behind me, and go on living. I upped my exercise (some might say manically, especially in the cycling department). I remained moderate in drinking alcohol, and backed off on the consumption of red meats (though that too was not high to begin with). I threw myself into work and projects. And we all grew older together. Regular checkups were positive and unremarkable. Unremarkable became a favorite word.
But 2011 feels qualitatively different. The pre-surgery biochemical therapy, the major liver surgery, the post-surgical chemo... all were harder than last time, and there has been a significant jolt to my thinking about life, the universe, and everything. Two steps forward, one step back? Or is it two steps back? I guess I would like to think that some progress has been made, but I am already loathing the CT scan that I have in two weeks. "We are establishing a new baseline" sounds so practical and ominous... but metastases are now no longer hypothetical for me. I fear another crushing blow to my spirit.
But I am working to remember that chemo is done, for now. I am slowly restoring my internal organic activities to some semblance of normal. I still have a few side effects to deal with, but each day is getting better in terms of appetite and energy. We have a lot of fun planned for the next couple of months, and are making firm plans to find someplace warm for a vacation during the cold and rainy period that we call the "holiday season" up here in the Pacific Northwet. Being done with the bi-weekly chemotherapy is a great physical burden lifted from my shoulders. This is a very good thing, and something that I am glad of.
Namasté, my friends!