How am I doing?

“How are you doing?”

I’m asked the question often and I really don’t know how to answer! The short answer is, “I’m feeling fine and able to live a normal life right now and for that I’m very thankful!”

I know there are some of you, however, who want the long answer. Other than a sensation in the left side of my face that doesn’t feel quite right, I really am feeling fine but I have no idea what’s happening on the inside. Not knowing whether the cancer is growing and spreading or if it’s been arrested by the treatment that I had in November is somewhat disconcerting but it’s the growth in my face that concerns me the most because we know that it wasn’t receptive to the mIBG.

I’ll be back in Edmonton on January 31 for more tests and another treatment so I hope to have more answers after that. Because I tolerated the last treatment so well, I don’t even have to stay in the lead lined room this time! Instead, I’ll be receiving my treatment as an outpatient. I’d feel more confident if I knew that it was going to be lutetium instead of mIBG though. That was the original plan but the government hasn’t given final approval to the clinical trial yet. Since I don’t know where the hold up is, I’ve written to both my MP and my MLA asking them to look into the matter. As I pointed out to them, it may only be paperwork to those who are dealing with it at the government level but it’s a matter of life and death to people like me! Both their offices immediately forwarded my concern to their respective health departments but I’ve heard nothing more!

In the meantime, I’m grateful that I can live a very normal life. With the exception of blood tests at the nearby hospital every second Friday and a Sandostatin injection here at home every 28 days, my schedule is much the same as it’s always been. I’ve suffered absolutely no ill effects from either the mIBG or the Sandostatin, my energy and appetite are unaffected and I’m sleeping well. I do suffer from bouts of anxiety but thankfully, they haven’t been too frequent. My biggest regret is not being able to take a role in our drama club’s upcoming production of Agatha Christie’s murder mystery, And Then There Were None, because the upcoming treatment will render me too radioactive to be in close contact with other people for the final two weeks of rehearsal.

I often find January a long and dull month but getting back on track physically has helped a lot. Over the past three weeks, I’ve walked 12 miles (almost 20 km) on the treadmill and since the weather has been unseasonably warm, we’ve also done some walking outside. With all the freezing and thawing, however, it’s pretty treacherous out there right now and the treadmill is a lot safer. I’m also back to three full weight lifting sets three times a week. After almost a year long hiatus, I started with what seemed like ridiculously small weights but I’ve already started increasing them. Sadly, there’s still a bulge around my middle and the best I can say for my weight is that it hasn’t continued to climb but I know that the exercise is contributing to my overall feeling of well-being and I’m determined to keep it up.

So, to those who’ve been asking, I hope this answers your questions and to those who’ve been praying for me, thank you so very much! I’m still hanging on to the hem of his garment and asking for a miracle!

11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jan Bergseth
    Jan 23, 2014 @ 15:37:37

    I too have acquired a “spare tire” this winter and my rear end seems to have exploded! Thanks for the update on your treatments Elaine. This is a great way for many of us to be informed. As always, in my thoughts and prayers.

    Reply

    • edebock
      Jan 23, 2014 @ 16:22:11

      Thanks, Jan! A little extra around the middle seems to be almost inevitable as we age but I’m determined to keep it from getting out of control.

      Reply

  2. Shmruthi
    Jan 23, 2014 @ 21:08:52

    Stay Strong Elaine! I’ll definitely keep you in my prayers & wish for a speedy and complete recovery.

    Reply

  3. Dave Bucher
    Jan 24, 2014 @ 02:01:18

    Dave was in “And Then There Were None”. He played the nervous doctor. He did a great job – it was a fun play. Sorry you’ll miss out on your production. However, glad for the good news. We keep you and Richard in our prayers.

    Reply

    • edebock
      Jan 24, 2014 @ 10:15:52

      Richard wasn’t planning on being in the play either since I can’t be but he took over the role of General Mackenzie, the old somewhat senile veteran, when a friend who had the role was killed in a tragic accident shortly before Christmas. I’ve been filling in at rehearsals for whoever can’t be there so I haven’t completely missed out on the fun.

      Reply

  4. crazyanneca
    Jan 24, 2014 @ 09:28:50

    Could you please send your unseasonably warm weather here?
    Sorry about the play – the trouble is you can’t let the team down and just “go for it” when you know you aren’t safe to be there. Are there other ways you could help?
    I don’t understand not having to stay in the lead lined room because you tolerated it so well – I thought that was for the protection of those around you. Nice that you don’t have to though. As always, you are in my prayers and on the prayer list at my church.

    Reply

    • edebock
      Jan 24, 2014 @ 10:20:04

      Even though I won’t be in the lead lined room, I’ll have to keep my distance from other people. They’ve told us that it’s safe for Richard to drive me home if I ride in the back seat on the passenger side. We couldn’t do it if the trip took longer than three hours but it’s only about two.

      Reply

  5. Ida Cabiati
    Jan 27, 2014 @ 00:11:19

    I don’t know what to say but hang in there. Exercise will make you feel better that is for sure. In this kind of weather treadmill is a blessing, wish I have one at home for those days when I am too busy to drive to the park. The bulge around mid section will go with cardio (walking) and time.. trust me you are not alone in the bulge section, I am right behind you :) Age is tricky.. it makes you wiser and bigger at the same time! As for your question on dressing in Dubai there is a thin line between what is acceptable and not. By law sleeveless, shorts are not allowed. This can be seen written on every entrance of the malls and public places but I’ve seen many expats, tourists that went around with micro minis and spaghetti straps and they got away. But there are also news that some were arrested. I on the other hand try to follow the rules. I always wear something on top to cover my shoulder – shawl, jacket, shirt and try to wear nothing too short. Well, I don’t normally wear anything too short, anyway. I guess better be safe than sorry when it comes to this. We live here and my husband works for the airline so I guess we have to play by the book to avoid deportation after prison ;) By the way I wrote a post in the past about this on the blog but could be a good topic to write again :) Thanks sweetie xxx always lovely to hear from you!

    Reply

    • edebock
      Jan 27, 2014 @ 12:18:06

      I will have to look further back in your blog and read more posts from before I found you! I enjoy your sense of fashion but also the tidbits about life in Dubai! Thanks for your encouraging words today. :)

      Reply

  6. Trackback: Riding the roller coaster again | Following Augustine

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