Thursday, December 4, 2008


I have been trying not to expect much over the last six months. I have been focusing my energy on living each day as it comes, and not planning too strenuously for the future. I have been pleased—grateful—to have recovered as much as I have. I have loved the return of energy, which allows me to do so many things that bring me joy—both selfish, like the horseback riding and Gyrotonic, and generous, like making soup for Ian to take to school (he can't quite give up the weekly lunch ritual, even though he's no longer a student) because he was exhausted—and I wasn't!

I've sort of been expecting, though, based on my prior experiences, that I would go through chemo for some amount of time, the cancer would all disappear from my body, and I'd be in complete remission again, as I have been three times before. It may not work that way, however. Yes, my response to treatments heretofore has been very good. However, there is a chance that the cancer will stop responding, and may even start to grow again. This has happened to people. In that case, there are other chemotherapies, including oral ones which wouldn't involve needles at all—but it would definitely suck to have to look at it that way.

There is also a chance that my neuropathy (which seems to have stabilized in a state where I really don't notice it in my feet; my thumbs, first and middle fingers have some numb spots and some tingling; and my bowels seem to be unaffected) could get bad enough that it's necessary to take me off the chemo, even if I am still responding to it.

My bones will probably always bear the marks of the cancer, through scarring at the very least. And yes, those bone scars are weaker than bones normally are. I can help support my skeleton by having a lot of muscular strength, but jumping—on a horse that is—may not ever again be something I should do, not only because of the risk of breaking a bone if I fall and the time it would take to heal, but also because, if I do have a break, it will always, ever after, look suspicious on scans. I promised I would not jump for the time being. I can't promise I will never jump again.

And so, though I wasn't consciously yearning for my old life back, I was assuming—expecting—that it would come at some time, with only alterations so minor I maybe would'nt even have noticed them. Hmmm.

It's just another reminder to live fully in the moment—because now is all we ever have.


Andrienne said...

Amen Sister! While I am loving my new house, the reality is - there is nothing here that even remotely resembles my old life - except maybe some furniture. I was going to say sheets as well, but I just realized I bought new sheets. I miss you very much. I hope a visit to Virginia is in your future. I can give you a few songs to have to jump over - any they won't break anything...all my love

Gregory said...

Hey Calin! Greetings from a lately-very-unsupportive-but-still-loving friend. I am over here in the darkness and snow and working like crazy, so I have had trouble keeping up with your blog. I try to get all up to date before posting a comment, but it's hard to do, what with you being so darned prolific.

But I couldn't wait any longer to say hi and to tell you how happy I am that things are going well for you. You really are doing well, and it seems like you haven't lost sight of that fact. I'm proud of you for being so tough.

Hang in there. Even if I don't write much these days, I think of you often.