Monday, August 31, 2015

Out of the Blue. . .

Just when I’ve relaxed and settled into a boring home routine my friends manage to think of new ways to reach out to me and remind me that they’re still thinking of me.  Over the past few months I’ve received anything from cards and letters to a prayer shawl—and believe me, it’s nice to know that I’m on someone’s prayer list.  This week something entirely new arrived—a DVD containing video greetings from friends quite literally spanning the planet (one of my former colleagues at KGUN9 is living overseas now). 

The friends and family of former coworker and current friend Lindsay Thomae somehow coordinated this, and former KGUN9 photographer Dan Pinard’s fingerprints are in it as well.  I won’t quote from the disc or say anything about it except that ranges from the very sincere to the moving to the humorous.  But it reminds me again that our lives are interconnected in ways that aren’t always apparent.  The praise I crave hearing are attestations along the lines of having been a good role model and inspiration, and so many of you have reached out with those very words.  The disc in that regard was very touching.  I’m also impressed by the amount of  behind-the-scenes work that went into it; this took some coordination.  I hereby extend heartfelt thanks to Lindsay, Dan, and everyone who participated in the project.
Medically, there’s not much new to report.  I spend a lot of time sitting in chairs, to be honest, which is about what my current level of stamina allows.  If I’m on my feet for more than 5 minutes I start to get get winded, and pain starts to set up in the area where my cancerous left kidney used to be.  The only cure is to sit down, so I do a lot of that.  This leaves time for writing but as I’ve mentioned in previous posts I’m finding it difficult to muster the energy necessary for the next novel.  I’ve begun work on it but am undecided as to whether I’ll finish it; I may decide to let The Dark stand as my personal best in that regard.   In any case the novel-writing bucket list item does remain checked off at this point even if I don’t write a fourth.  Plus, that book I’ve been promising about a lifelong string of coincidences that may or may not have been paranormal in nature which have informed, inspired and perhaps even enabled my current life is on its way within a few weeks or short months.

To bring you up to date medically, there are three different cancer sites competing to kill me—my abdominal cavity where the left kidney used to be, my sigmoid colon, and my bladder.  Having said "no" to additional chemotherapy (an experience that damned near killed me and from which I am still recovering) there is not much that I’ll be doing now about the first two cancers; those masses will continue to grow, and I’ll continue to suffer losses in my stamina, for the foreseeable future until the inevitable happens.  There is no need to let bladder cancer win this competition, though, because it can be controlled so easily with an outpatient procedure.  So, toward that end I have a doctor’s appointment today (Monday, 8/31)  to see if the cancer  has returned to the bladder, which seems likely since that’s exactly what  happened at the six month mark last time.  If it has, it’s an easy operation (in theory) to remove it, assuming my insurance company will go for that.  Being in hospice care complicates things because it creates the expectation that there will be no further treatment other than palliative.

And I will say that I’m determined that nothing—not no way not no how—is going to come between me and my Casa de la Luz Hospice care.  These folks have been wonderful.  I’m sleeping through the night now only because they are appropriately managing my pain levels, which the oncologists on whom I was relying prior to hospice were not doing.  As I previously posted, I didn’t even realize my pain management was inadequate until suddenly I was getting appropriately managed.  It is great to be able to sleep.  Worrying about sleep also creates its own problems, and that is behind me, too, at least for now.  The hospice folks assure me that no matter what happens going forward, pain is not going to be an issue.  That is good to know.  I don’t totally believe it, but I do believe they will do the absolute best they can.

So, the way I’m spending my time is that I read, I write, and on a good day I receive little delights via Facebook or snail mail.  Thank you, Lindsay, Dan, and everyone else who participated, for this one.


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