I have stage 4 cancer and I was supposed to be dead by now. Here is what I did yesterday:
- My morning routine of gratitude list and other things to start my day.
- I edited a few Wikipedia pages.
- I rode my bike several miles and walked the neighborhood shops for small business Saturday.
- I stopped at French Truck coffee for a latte and read the chapter for my Wednesday book discussion.
- I took a nap
- I finished reading the second half of a book I bought about Lyle Saxon.
- I rode my bike to the grocery store to pick up some things we needed.
- I ate three meals.
- Emma and I went riding looking at Christmas lights and then came home and watched a movie.
I know that dealing with cancer is more than just chemotherapy and medicine. I am blessed in this knowing.
At this time last year, my cancer prognosis was that 2017 would be my last Thanksgiving. Today I am feeling better than in the past six months. This year, I have much to be thankful for:
- I give thanks to the fabulous staff at Touro Infirmary for the excellent care they provided for the past 15 months. Without exception, my experience has been outstanding.
- I am grateful for my wife Emma’s continued support and her taking over the lion’s share of our household responsibility. We will celebrate 19 years of marriage this coming December 11 and I could not be happier.
- I have written many times in this blog that my 3 decades of recovery in Alcoholics Anonymous has proven the best teacher for living one day at a time with cancer today. I cannot imagine life without the 12 Steps of AA.
- Family and friends have been extremely important to me in this past year. From my mother and cousin Walt’s recent visit to New Orleans to the many cards, emails, visits, and phone calls I received, the support has been an important source of inspiration and meaning in my treatment.
- My spiritual homes at Rayne Memorial UMC and the School for Contemplative Living continue to feed me with the food that offers a wholeness of mind, body, and spirit. I cannot imagine life without my friends and our book studies and services.
- I am grateful for the opportunity to live in my favorite city in world, New Orleans. Just walking through the French Quarter this past week, checking on our soon to be harvested crop of lemons, and drinking a Barq’s Root Beer and eating a muffuletta in Jackson Square remind me why I love this city so much.
My health update is also promising. Today I get my chemo pump taken off to complete my fourth round of therapy. I will have a PET scan next week to determine the effectiveness of the chemotherapy thus far. However, I feel much better than when I started the therapy 2 months ago. My back and stomach pains are gone and I am able to eat much more food, putting on 10 pounds of the 50 I had originally lost. The side effects from chemo have lessened throughout the regimen. Where it was taking me nearly two weeks to recover from the first round, I am now feeling more normal after a few days off the pump. In fact, although I will be lying low tomorrow, Emma has just returned from the grocery store with turkey legs that will comprise my Thanksgiving dinner.
Life is good and I am blessed.