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

Monday, April 29, 2013


Last night I had a memorable dream - memorable for two reasons... (1) I do not usually remember my dreams (or if I do they quickly fade away), and (2) I seem to have a context for this one that is poignant. Wow, with a lead-in like that, this sounds like it's going to be a good one... So, let's go!

I dreamed that I was on a sunny beach with my daughter, and that we were playing in the surf. For some unknown reason, we were both surfers and we were playing in some gentle waves - but not really surfing. Suddenly, I noticed that the waves are getting a bit bigger, and that we could actually surf on them. One or two of the bigger ones rolled by me, as I was out a few hundred feet, but then I managed to time a wave and "belly-boarded" my way all the way in to the beach itself. Exhilarated, I stood up and looked around to find Julia, but she was nowhere to be seen.

Then I looked out toward the ocean again, and saw that the water on the beach had withdrawn far out to sea, and could not be seen even in the distance. Hyper-concerned now, as I recognized the tell-tale evidence of an approaching tsunami, I shouted that we must get off the beach. I then yelled for Julia, and saw her up above the beach on a small bluff running down toward me. I yelled and pointed for her to move up and away from the beach, which she understood and started to do. We would meet up off the beach. Then I tried to get myself off the beach by jumping up to grab at a knotted rope, and began to pull myself up. I was struggling, but making progress, when I wondered if I would be able to put enough height distance between me and the beach before the first tsunami wave arrives...

And then I woke up.

That was a pretty powerful dream. Some rudimentary after-analysis quickly points out some serious factual issues - like, I have no idea how to surf (or even bellyboard), and Oregon's offshore areas are quite steep so the water would not disappear like it might on a shallower beach, and the water is too cold for me to ever want to put my whole body in it anyways, etc. But dreams are rarely true depictions of a reality, right?

This morning I had a routine CT scan scheduled – of the “every six months” variety. And while I have no symptoms that would indicate that anything is amiss, the idea of another cancer recurrence somewhere in me has the feeling of a pending tsunami. It has been over a year since my last chemotherapy treatment, and over two years since the metastases showed up in my liver. But I am anxious about the effect a recurrence might have on me and my family. We are just getting to a place that seems normal again.


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