Archive for January, 2015

The uncertain future.
January 25, 2014

Tomorrow is certainly going to come but sometimes I am not certain I will be there.  The promise of tomorrow is always just hours away and there is certainty in its arrival. With such certainty and hope I find myself lost at times.

 My tumor is active again, specifically the right one in my lung: a stubborn one.  For now, it is not enough for me to get bumped off my current clinical trial its growth is still within the 20% limit.  Besides the other nodule, the one on the left, exhibited minimal decrease in size, so for now I am considered “stable.”  Whew.

Stable is a temporary state.  It is not permanent.  It is more like a goal (like finding stability) that is very hard to achieve.  When threatened, there is uncertainty and anxiety: not fun.

My state of stability was recently shaken when my clinical trial doctors broached the subject of other clinical trials that is open for me, and those that are coming down the pipeline.  I can tell right away the muted concern they have no matter how delicately things are explained to me.  I know.  So the net is, it is a matter of “when” I will move not “if” I will move.

Hope is a very precious commodity when stability is challenge.  I have been in this situation before.  The easy part is the move, it is what changes or what you give up as part of the change that is harder to accept.

When to move?  Hey, I am a gerbil spinning on a wheel stuck.  Where do you think I am going?  I am stuck and unbalanced.


P.S.  Wednesday, January 28, is next treatment.

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2015: Resolutions and absolutions.
January 16, 2015
So far 2015 is starting out good.  There is always great expectations for new beginnings.  It normally begins with resolutions and absolutions for me.

For starters, I absolve or renounce the habit of counting how chemo treatments I have received (one to start 2015 last January 7th…sorry!)  I think this is a force of habit from my work.  I deal with data (lots of data), risks, likelihood, and impact.  That decisions should be based on data to minimize bias.  But sometimes you just have to throw away these things because it restricts your ability to…live.

I just had my CT scan today.  I normally get anxious for the results of my scan: good or bad.  There was a time I would hold my breathe when I see the caller id is from the office of my oncologist or radiologist.  Now, I get it by email that reads:
     “Scan looks stable.  One nodule increased and one decreased.  Dr. S said he would keep you on.”
That summarizes my world.  I am like a gerbil running on a wheel going nowhere.  I just keep on running until I am told to get off and move to another wheel (trial).  So why bother counting how many treatments I have received: it does not matter.  What matter is you are running on the wheel.  In fact, I would continue on any wheel they give me: big or small.

My wife notices my frustration of being stuck.
“Your nodules are stable and you are here with us.”  she admonishes.
Yes.  I am surrounded by people who love me.  There should not be any “if’s” and “but’s” about this.  That is why I am running on a wheel-to-nowhere.  Is there anything beyond love?  Thus, for 2015 I resolve to live beyond the numbers that define my cancer.  I resolve to fully embrace my new normal lifestyle and fully enjoy the experience of running round-and-round “the wheel.”I would still continue to keep fit, practice mindfulness, pray, help others, set goals, run, and have fun.  Does it matter how many chemo treatments I have?  Does it matter how many miles I have run?  There will be more treatments as much there are paths to run.  Just go and enjoy.


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