Friday, July 12, 2013

Special Delivery

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My 12 year old and I have a long standing evening ritual. We read novels together before lights-out. As he is 12, this is not too be misunderstood as "bedtime stories"! (I am asked to always clarify the distinction.) We really do read novels. We've covered a wide-range from Treasure Island and Moby Dick, to various books by Artemis Fowl, Rick Riordan, and Terry Pratchett.

Last night, as we settling in to continue reading Going Postal by Sir Terry Pratchett, Son noticed that I have difficulty reclining. My breathing becomes more labored, I wince, and am subject to dry coughing bouts.

"Mom...why are you always in pain?"  He asks while nestling closer to me.

"I am old and decrepit."

"No, really...why?"  He starts tucking me in gently.

"Because I am really ancient and worn."

"No, really...you always seem to be in pain! How come?"  His head is on my shoulder now.

"I really don't know Goober. I don't have a good answer."

"Find out okay. I want you to be around for at least another 25 years. I would ask for 35 years, but you really are pretty old already!"  He throws a total "Goober-Face" at me.

"Well, I want to be around long enough to see whether you go bald or grey first, so 25 years should be long enough!" 

He proceeds to shark-attack me . . .25 years . . . you got it Goober!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Holding My Breath

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Each Cancerversary I have marked the day. With a post. With a "woohoo". With shock and dismay. Each time July comes around I start with a feeling of dread. My stage III diagnosis came on a July 8. My re-staging to stage IV mets came on a July 11. This July is four (4) years.

I have no "woohoos" I can send up as yet. To be candid, the thin veil of dread that blankets me, psychically, at the moment is as palpable as the 115 degree temps with the 45% humidity we are currently experiencing.

I have my 3 month follow up with the Onc this Friday, July 12.

When I started to lose weight back in April / May, I started to try and pound denser calories. The pericarditis, however, makes it uncomfortable to eat. Today, I am still struggling to flirt with the 100lb mark. I know I sound like a bee-atch complaining about weight -- but its not like I am looking hot in a bikini, mini or skinny jeans!

The chest pains and breathing are becoming more of a challenge, again. (That's the good news...because there was a few weeks when it was not as challenging!)  Although, this time now my entire rib cage feels like it is splintering. Its worse in the morning, when I try to exercise, and when I lay down. Other than that, its tolerable. I am still trying to track down a better cardiologist - one that is not so anxious to discharge me that his treatment plan is hospice.

Then, there is the broken foot. More than six months and still has not healed. I got so tired of indulging burning pain with flats that I rebelled and went back to my killer high heels for the court room. The pain is constant regardless, so why the hell not sport the power-heels. (Note...no power heels with bikinis or minis - but yes with the skinny jeans!)

Then there is the persistent nodule in my neck. Its been there for the last 2+ months. Most likely nothing, right?

So, here I sit on the cusp of my two Cancerversaries, wondering how this July is going to play out. In 2009 two medical oncologists, one surgical oncologist, and one radiation oncologist told me I had only a 4% chance of a five (5) year survival rate. I so need to prove them wrong.

Holding my breath, with cautious optimism . . .