“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!