Monday, July 14, 2008

Incredibly Lucky

In case you don't remember, to stand in place has been very difficult for me. I have only been able to stand still for a minute at the most. After that, the aching pain of the tumor becomes too much. Also, sitting can be painful, especially if it's on a wooden chair. And walking...well, it doesn't hurt, but if I walk a significant distance, I will be in serious need of a bathroom and consider myself lucky if I get there in time.

Well on Saturday, I went to a friends house to listen to the final mix of my upcoming record. After the listening session, we hung out in the kitchen for about 45 minutes. What amazed me is that I sat on a cushioned stool with my Tempur-Pedic cushion for almost the entire 45 minutes with no pain. THAT is a first. Later we dropped off the CD for duplication and then went to dinner. Fortunately we were able to park across the street from the restaurant so the walking was minimal. But then we sat and had our meal for almost an hour and again I had no pain.

On Saturday I stood for three to four minutes at a time with no pain and even carried Beau in from the car again with absolutely no pain. I brought Beau in from the car again this evening and then walked him him upstairs to bed upon his request. [By the way, it was SO incredibly cute. I held both his hands as we climbed the steps and I watched as he stepped on the next step ahead of him only to then stretch his little leg over not just one, but two steps and then he continued this random pattern until we reached the landing. He didn't miss a beat. It was adorable.] So, my point is that although I am still on morphine, my pain level has gone way down. And since Dr. Cagir has noted major tumor shrinkage, I'm hoping this decrease in pain is related to the decrease in tumor size.

Believe it or not, the radiation is still attacking the tumor even this far along after the treatment has ended. So, wouldn't it be sweet if there was continued shrinkage and the tumor had zero contact with the pelvic bone? As you can imagine, that's what I'm shooting for.

And on the topic of the tumor, folks have been asking me how I'm doing considering that the surgery is only days away. Well, Daniela acknowledged that a week or so ago I was going on tirades about anyone and everyone - but of course not you. I was definitely uptight. On Friday I was still amped up. If it was 10 years ago and I was still drinking alcohol, I'm sure I would have put on quite a performance. I was clearly emoting quite well on Friday.

Now that that's out of me, I feel fine. I'm three days out from surgery and I'm definitely not stressed. I have no desire to be cut open and reconfigured - I hope that's a given - but at the moment I'm looking forward to opening my eyes on Wednesday following the surgery and being told everything went well. And other than that, the only other concerns I have is if the hospital will have enough channels so I can catch the Red Sox on Saturday and if the Sox will maintain their lead in the American League East. There's also my hope that the American League wins the All-Star Game so they have home field advantage in the Series, but let's not even open that can of worms.

There are other concerns as far as the outcome of the surgery and future oncological treatments, but no matter how much I worry or how scared I become, all the worry and fear in the world won't make the outcome of the surgery any better. Or the treatments that follow for that matter. At best it would just stress me out and make me miserable. And since that isn't particularly appealing and there isn't anything I can do but wait, I'm just going to wait. And we'll see. And to tell you the truth, all the inspirational perspectives in the world don't do a damn bit of good just because I can recite one after another, but for some reason right now, the one I shared about worry and fear is simple & true for me and exactly where I am. And for that little gift of perspective [and an absolutely extraordinary wife], I consider myself incredibly lucky.


  1. Bert,

    The day before my mastectomy, I had this great moment, where I realized that the surgery and its outcomes were completely out of my hands. That, in fact, it was really out of my surgeon's hands. That all of it was in the hands of God or of destiny or of in my future, however you believe stuff like that works. Up until that point, I had a lot of questions and concerns and anxiety, but after that moment, it was all quiet in my head for the first time in months. I could focus on the moment I was in. I slept well, I woke refreshed, and I went into surgery with an optimistic, peaceful attitude.

    It sounds like you are already there, and I'm glad to hear it. I hope that you can stay in that space until the surgery.

    You and your family continue to be in my thoughts.

    Maria Brown

  2. I hope that tomorrow is the end and a great beginning to your life. My thoughts and preys will be with you. "You will be fine"! Good luck Steve. Fil

  3. I have been following your journey well not because i know you personally, but because one, you live right where a friend of mine used to and we grew up right near there, but also because a friend of mine has a little boy with leukemia, and I have been very interested in your progress. I will be praying for you and your family as I have been. I am pretty sure I saw Daniela a few times taking walks with Beau down a dirt road too..... she must be a wonderful person. Just believe, and relax. It will all be ok.

  4. God bless you, my love,
    We will be with you tomorrow.

  5. Dropppin' into Trumansburg in a few are in our thoughts.

    capnhook and Char

  6. Here it is, Wednesday morning: 8:35 am. You are in the midst of profound. As I have one foot in the workaday world right now, my awareness is with you too in this mysterious universe where everything is happening at the same time. Life is miraculous.
    Accept this cyber toast, applause, kudos, tribute, etc.

  7. Bert,

    By now, you are hopefully out of surgery, and all has gone well. I have been thinking about you all morning.

    Both of our lives have been profoundly changed by our cancers, in very different ways. As I was walking to my AA meeting this morning, I felt strong and almost without discomfort in my abdomen, and I was thinking that some day you will be feeling this good as well.

    I pray that those days come soon for you, and that your recovery from this surgery is without complication.

    Thinking of you and Daniella.

    Maria Brown