Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Keep 'em Comin

Today's scan came back negative. It's now been 32-months all clear. My recurrence happened in 2011, three years after my first diagnosis. Getting to that point again will be comforting. Perhaps it will be less worrisome. Although, I've never gotten that far, so I don't know. I don't know if the underlying thoughts of worry that hum in the back of my mind will completely go away. Or get quieter. Perhaps they will. Perhaps they won't. But as of today...I'm cancer-free.

Monday, March 10, 2014

All Clear

My recent colonoscopy in January as well as my CT scan & bloodwork earlier this week both came back negative. Now CT scans will be every four months instead of every three. It's been almost 2 1/2 years since the lest time there was any detection of cancer in my body.  So, I am almost halfway to the five year milestone.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Ninth Quarter - All Clear

Today's quarterly scan came back negative. It feels a bit uneventful to post the same thing I've been posting lately. And then I think about what I just wrote and start laughing. Uneventful is exactly what I hope for. No news. And it's been almost 26 months (nine quarterly scans) with no detectible sign.

Twenty-six months isn't really all that long, (although it's a third of my younger boys life). It seems like just the beginning, should I be so lucky. But then I think about the old timer who was standing behind me in one of the many lobbies at Sloan Kettering. I overheard him commenting to the fella who accompanied him about the three months his doctor gave him to live. A few minutes later, the three of us were on a packed elevator. As the elevator opened its doors on a different floor, the people waiting saw the few remaining spots and didn't enter. They just stood there. I looked back from the front of the elevator at the folks behind me and said, "We must be intimidating. They won't get on." And it was the old timer who was the first one to start laughing and cracking jokes with me, telling me I was the reason! He may have only three months to live, but that's just it. He's living. He probably has no idea how much he inspired me today. I'd love to sit back with him and hear some of his stories. He seems like the kind of fella who would have a few to tell. That's a hell of a place, Sloan Kettering. Shed em i ya got em. And keep living.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Again, No Detectable Sign

My scan and blood work came back negative today. As of October 28th, I will be two years with no detectable sign of cancer. It was wonderful to hear especially since I had it in my mind that it had only been one year. I don't know what I was thinking, but Dr Kemeny and I were both grinning when she looked at her notes and saw it had in fact been two years. My first thought was, "Perhaps I will be able to see my little boy grow up to be a man after all." That's what matters for those of us with kids. Not like other parents don't share such concerns. I just just have reason to remember it far more frequently.

In fact, it has taken a lot to stay hopeful these last couple of years. Yet on the way to NY today, I noticed I feel much less fear about another recurrence and I'm indeed grateful for that. Getting further and further along with no detectable sign of cancer feels more and more like the end of a chapter, like I posted the last time I left New York following my quarterly scan. There was certainly more circumstances than just cancer that effected my outlook on life, but having the cancer diagnosis and treatments further and further behind me has made a significant difference in how I take on what lies ahead.

I'm still recovering as far as physical health goes. I still suffer if I get less than sufficient sleep more than one night in a row. A few days of that and my immune system starts to tank. Supposedly by next summer my immune system will be fully recharged. Seven-months of high dose chemo "because you're such a healthy young man" really beat the living hell out of my immune system. My docs said it would take my immune system 12-24 months to be 100% again. It feels like for me it may be on the closer side of 24 months. And if that's part of the cost to stay alive, I'll take it. Today I'm deeply grateful to be alive and able to face whatever struggles lie ahead, with my little guy by my side.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Nineteen Months: No Detectable Sign of Cancer

Today's quarterly scan was negative. I have now been clear of any detectable sign of cancer for 19 months. I'm in a bus in New Jersey coming out of the tunnel, looking at the Manhattan skyline, headed back home. Another chapter compete. I feel grateful right now. And I find I no longer recognize much of this life anymore. Many of the same people and places but so much of my life has changed so drastically in so many ways.  I feel much more an observer in many aspects. In other ways, such as when ego has the reins, I forget to observe and then life becomes familiar again. And all of that is in the background of a "good bill of health" for myself and my family. Amen.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Next Quarterly Scan June 12th

Wednesday June 12th is my next quarterly scan. Wow that was fast! I feel like the last time I went wasn't really all that long ago. Perhaps that's a good thing. Nothing to do in the way of preparation except not give it much thought and rock this one out just like the last one. No detectable signs since October 29, 2011.

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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Good Report From the Doc

Damn good meeting with Dr. Cagir, my colo-rectal surgeon on Monday March 25th. He said the inflammation observed by my oncologist on my most recent CT scan is caused by the skin currently growing around the cadaver tissue he stitched into my abdomen to correct the hernia that was present next to my stoma. As far as the bleeding goes, he believes I may need more time to heal and suggested I stop irrigating for a month. Not my preferred way of doing things, but certainly in my best interest, so it's a no-brainer. Doctor Cagir and I had some good laughs. We always do.