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

Sunday, April 7, 2013

How are you doing?

So... here we are... it's been about fourteen months since my last blog post, and the silence has been both welcome and worrisome for some of my readers. Many (rightly) have assumed that no news is good news, but there are others that seem to ping the blog every so often and need to know what has been going on.

We are maintaining a watchful attention to my insides. This entails a monthly visit to the oncology nurses to flush out my Powerport. Every three months, I see either my oncologist or my liver surgeon for a brief physical exam, and every six months (just before the meeting with one of the docs) I have a CT scan of everything from my neck down to my groin. So far, no evidence of disease from the two scans and four blood tests from 2012. My first CT scan of 2013 is scheduled this month.

These semi-constant reminders of my physical mortality can be uncomfortable. The palpable feeling that I do not control the length of my stay on spaceship Earth is hard for me. But it is also hard to try to control too many things about living a life. I am exercising regularly, and plan (again) to conquer some challenging bike rides this summer. I am in either a spin class or weight training four-five days each week, at what some consider to be an ungodly-early hour (5am-6am each morning). I am trying to eat a mostly vegetarian diet, but my surgeon has suggested that I may need to eat animal protein regularly if I expect to be a healthy cyclist. His point is that I am not a "religious" adherent to the vegetarian philosophy and may be unable to provide all the nutrients an athlete needs by eating a non-meat diet without a lot of commitment and education. And he is right, in that I am unwilling to do the "all-in" commitment that vegetarianism and high-performance cycling demand. So meat has re-entered my diet to a small degree. Mostly animals that are locally-grown and fed a "natural" diet.

I find my work challenging, but also find myself ready for a change of scenery. I am not sure what that will mean, or when it will play out, but it is on my mind.

Family drama is mostly absent these days, though life with a teenager has its ups-and-downs. I remember the thoughts of willfulness and worldly knowledge that I had 35 or so years ago, and try to keep perspective on things. It is not always the easiest thing for me to do, though, and I need to work on that continuously. While being a parent is very rewarding, it is not for the faint of heart.

Bye for now. I will try to come back more regularly. Namaste.

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