Recovery Update #5

Recovery update #5…

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Let me start with some good news.  The skin on my back is beginning to heal.  It is pealing and still tender… but it is no longer burned and blistered.  The extreme pain is gradually disappearing.  The shortness of breath is still lingering but that could be due to the cancer… the treatments… or the heart… who knows?  At this point… it doesn’t really matter the reason… it’s just something that I must deal with in the moment and perhaps well beyond.  I just have to think before I do… I don’t want to get so involved in something that I end up gasping for breath.  That’s not fun.  The fatigue is still haunting me also but I’m starting to think that I can do whatever I want… at least whatever I think that I’m ornery enough to do and still be able to find enough air to sustain life.  One’s mind can ponder the possibilities awhile… mine certainly does.  I love a wandering mind.  It stirs creativity… emotions… wanderings far beyond where an old man should be wandering… but isn’t it fun…

The reality check PET scan is scheduled for the first week in April… my favorite month of the year… and then the real reality check is scheduled for four days later to tell me the results… It’s funny about test results… My first biopsy was ordered by my primary care physician and performed at a local hospital.  I don’t know how long I waited for the results but it was many days.  I called the hospital who informed me that the results had been sent to the ordering physician.  I called the physician’s office who informed me that they would pass my inquiry on to the doctor.  I waited… and waited… for many more days.  Finally… I went to the hospital’s medical records office and requested a copy of the report to take to my VA doctor.  (Actually, I was just wanting to find out the results).  They immediately made me a copy and gave it to me… oddly… without charging me anything.  As I left the medical center… walking across the very large parking lot to my car on a nice autumn morning… I removed the report from the envelope and read… malignant squamous cell carcinoma in the left lymph nodes of the neck.  Not exactly the way you would expect to find out that you have cancer in the lymph nodes.  The drive home after reading the report seemed much longer than usual and my mind was so filled with multiple emotions that I really don’t remember driving home.  I fired my primary care physician.  He would never have even found the lump if I hadn’t pointed it out to him although it was a rather large lump on the left side of the neck about an inch below the ear.

I feel very fortunate to have my radiology oncologist who now orders the tests and never makes me wait unnecessarily for the results.  That’s the way it should be.  People tend to worry after having certain tests and should never have to wait on results when they are readily available to the doctor.  I am thankful for her every day and I have told her so… I know it can’t be an easy job to inform someone that they have a possibly life threatening illness and I wouldn’t want that job either…. but the sooner the patient is informed, the quicker they can get the wrestling in their mind over with and get on with the process of getting well.  So my thanks to all the physicians that don’t linger in the process of informing their patients of test results… good or bad.

Sunday was such a beautiful day here in the southern plains and I enjoyed it thoroughly.  I am so very thankful that I am able to do just that… enjoy the day.  None of us really know what tomorrow will bring and it is such an amazing experience to just enjoy the moment… living in the ‘now’… Look around you… I’m sure that within a matter of just a short distance… you can find something beautiful… something that you cherish… perhaps another for whom you care deeply… How fortunate you are to have the opportunity to share this very moment with them… maybe your pet sleeping near to you with a glance up at you to thank you for caring about them… maybe the opportunity to read something that enlightens you or inspires you or touches your heart… Maybe a beautiful picture of the dawn that someone has posted… maybe just the opportunity to write about something that means a great deal to ‘you’…

There are so many beautiful moments that can occur in just the blink of an eye.  Enjoy them… savor them… taste them, touch them, smell them, let your eyes linger upon them…… listen to them… Turn off the TV… the radio… and listen to the silence… you might be amazed at what you hear within the silence…. Close your eyes and allow your soul to look around at the world awhile… and perhaps beyond.

Today is one of those ‘flood watch’ days with lots of rain forecast to fall for the next three or four days.  I think they said something like 10 to 18 inches of water.  The drainage creek is a little too close for comfort when they talk about a foot of rain.  I’m going to sleep in my galoshes and snorkel… I like rainy days but three or four of them in a row gets a little soggy… including my brain… and I’m old… rainy days often hurt… but I’ll just bet that the rain will inspire some poetic thoughts as well.

Now… I think I’m going to go crawl up into my chair and nap a bit…

Simon nap

I want to thank all of you who continue to follow me on this journey through cancer… the treatments… the physical affects… the emotional realizations… and my whining.   All of you should know that the simple act of viewing my posts, clicking the ‘like’ button or leaving a comment for all to share, can do nothing but help to cure one of pain, illness and stress.  To find so many caring souls standing near has brightened many of my days and nights… and I thank you with all my heart…

If you haven’t visited my poetry site lately… please wander over and listen to the “Whispers”

Namasté

Michael33