Thursday, 25 April 2013

Thankful

Just got back from scan results, and it was NED - no evidence of disease! So thankful and happy!
No more scans for another 6 months. Apparently the pain I was experiencing are the adhesions from surgery, still settling and stretching now that I have gained back weight.

  Off to enjoy this gorgeous spring afternoon and count my blessings.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

The King of Impossible Things

Today is my MRI, the one that was moved from late May to mid April because of the zombie gnawing in my belly.  I won't get the results for another week, which will be a long and stressful time. Needless to say, I'm nervous. Scanxiety -- when does it go away??

Truth is, I don't know that it does. I think we're all shell-shocked still, and trying to not think that every pain and swelling, the persistent fatigue... all add up to the jelly beast being back.  I am hopeful  that its just scar tissue settling and the return of glorious belly fat. I can't stay in a place of fear, and while most of the time I am getting better at getting on with my life the times surrounding scans bring it all back.

There are times we struggle; our eight year old is having struggles at school with his teacher, and more often than not tries to think of ways to stay home with me. I'd like to think its all about their clash in personalities, but to be fair I think there's probably a fair ingredient of him just wanting to be home enjoying doing things with me. Let's face it, I pretty much slept for a year. We couldn't do much together, and it took a while for us to get back to our usual activities, to discovering the world together. I don't want to give it up anymore than he does!

That said, we have to live our lives with the belief that there will be MANY days and many years ahead for us to share together. And that is where faith comes in.

I believe in G-d. For me and my family that has been a tremendous help - to think there is some order to the chaos, and some purpose to the universe. But faith isn't only religion; I have faith in science, I have faith in my family and doctors, in my friends and community. The power or universal goodness that is so often overlooked.  There is so much anger and despair in the world, and sometimes I want to be the ostrich with my head in the sand. But for all the hate and the monsters out there, there are also good people. There is the good in all of us.  I choose to believe in all of that.

I joked with friends around the time of my MOAS that I knew I was in good hands, since I was going to the Tom Baker Centre and Tom Baker was one of my favorite Dr. Who. I love Dr. Who, and all its incarnations. I love that the companions always have faith in him, even if he lets them down, even if he can't always save them. The purpose of it all is larger than their individual stories, and in all his different lives there is a constant of conquering impossible odds and never giving up.

This year is Dr. Who's 50th anniversary, so I made a piece of art for it. Here's to faith, and to impossible things. 


Thursday, 4 April 2013

Anniversary Check-up booked

So I  just had a phonecall from the Alberta Tom Baker center, and my MOAS anniversary check up with Dr. Temple is booked for July 16th. It'll be neat to see Calgary again in the summer, and actually get to enjoy it this time. :)

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

A Welcome Spring

It has been hard not to spend the past month taking note of all the anniversaries; the day I had my appendectomy and the first sight of the mucin, the day we found out it was cancer, the day we had to tell our son...the list goes on and on.

I can't live on anniversaries. I can't let the year from hell drag me back into it. Spring break was good - we put our son in a theathre camp and got to do art with him, science experiments, celebrate my MIL's birthday and spent time with the new nephew. Everything around us seems to be blooming and its a joy to behold ! Vancouver had a stretch of warm and sunny weather, and it has done wonders for my spirits.  I love BC ... it really has some of the more spectacular scenery in the world.

Having Aiden at my inlaws for a few days also gave me the impetus to paint our master bedroom. I had acutely disliked the colour since we bought our place a few years ago, but because it was a neutral colour decided to keep it for a while. The colour can charitably be described as an off-shade of pinkish tan, but during my convalescence I became more and more convinced that its actual name ought to be vomit. Finally I decided to take matters into my own hands and after convincing Chris a serene lavender blue would be a much happier choice, painted it. It was exhausting but exhilarating to be doing something physical again!

I have also signed up at the local Curves gym, since  my GP gave me the go ahead. Activity will help me build up my strenght and stamina again, and with spring I feel a renewed need to do things on my own and reclaim that independence.

On the health front, my  arthritis continues. I switched over to Aleve and it was an amazing difference, so I suspect that after all this while my body is probably too used to ibuprofen for it to help at all. The topical cream has also helped, but as this was supposed to last a month or two and we're now going on five my GP had me do some hand x-rays and we'll see if that shows anything. Hey, perhaps exercise will help a bit with that as well!

I also went to see my oncologist as I've had some belly pains and a bit of swelling again. While it can conceivable be simple belly fat ( I have put on 15 lbs since stopping chemotherapy) my mind jumps to other conclusions. I suppose over time I'll stop worrying that its a recurrence, but I don't see that happening any time soon. It feels like... tiny zombies gnawing on the inside, not like the usual cramps or pains.  As it is we've bumped up my scheduled MRI from the end of May to sometime in mid April. I hope to have the date soon so that I can make plans accordingly.

In the meantime, life doesn't stop. Aiden is curious, happy and adventurous -- and I have to keep up! I talked him and Chris into going to Lynn Valley canyon and the suspension bridge there. I like it better than the Capilano one because its free. ;)  I am utterly terrified of heights, and in particular of suspension bridges; when my friend Hiroko visited in 2011 and wanted to go there I thought I would pass out. This time? Not so bad. I'm guessing that after cancer suspension bridges are peanuts!

We had fun crossing to the other side, hiking down into the canyon ( while singing the songs from the Hobbit) and the more arduous hike back up. I'm not -quite- as woefully out of shape as I thought. :)