|Looking outside Penn Medicine window September '12|
It's amazing what you can get used to with the passing of time. I still get flip-flops in my stomach on occasion but I'm getting used to the idea that yes, my days are numbered ~ like every one of us. It's just that I've had a longer look behind the curtain than you. It certainly gives flavor and relish to mundane tasks. Mowing the lawn (about a 3-4 hour job) used to peeve me and make me sigh with resignation. I can't say I leap upon the mower seat with zest now, but I appreciate the beauty around me more & enjoy looking at my finished work. This summer, with all the rain, I've certainly had a lot of enjoyment :)
|Looking outside the same window August '13|
A friend surprised a laugh out of me when he wrote "... At least 50% of (doctors) graduated in the bottom half of their class, and, when you get down to it, academic stardom does not translate into professional competence, so that makes all of them suspect. ..."
I must say, my doctors at Penn inspire my confidence & hope. What ever comes down my path, I will never worry that I made a wrong decision choosing them.
I think I am more easy-going now and ~ this may seem odd ~ in a way, happier. I don't sweat the small stuff so much. I'll catch myself worrying about something and then ask myself, "So what? What's the worst that can happen?" Cancer puts things in perspective.
I always opt for dessert these days. I buy a book if I want it. And, losing 40 pounds has made it more fun to shop for clothes :)
I'm baking again and have been put on a strict "One Pie Per Week" limit by my son who has discovered he likes my pies very much. I've made a few batches of jam, planted lots of flowers and am redoing a bathroom.
|Our beloved Fluffy >"<|
On a sad note, I had to put our amazing & wonderful Fluffy to sleep. This kitty was my Constant Companion as I went through operations, radiation & healing. She was always at my side. She was 15 years old and I hope I see her again. She was one of a handful of animals I have known in my life who were truly Special Souls.
|Phil & me @ Rolling Stones concert|
Health Stuff for others who may be going through this: No sleeping through the night due to a combo of waking up with dry mouth, quaffing water, then waking up to pee several times a night. I've been using a number of mouth-moistening gels & lozenges to find the right combination to allow me to sleep. ENJOY your restful, unbroken sleeps, people! Thank goodness for interesting podcasts, Solitaire & Facebook.
• My scar bothers me just a little. It feels stiff & stretched & sometimes itchy. Been putting Vitamin E oil on it. I give myself lymph massages because I can feel lymph fluids collecting in the area above the scar as it tries to find a new route.
• I've been off Gabapentin (Neurontin) for a few months now and, glory be! My memory is slowly improving, if I remember correctly. :)
• I have normal energy levels and there's no limit on what I can do. This was tested on recent college tours where we walked miles of sidewalks looking at schools. Just give me a water bottle & a place to pee and I'm good to go!
• My left ear is back to full-strength hearing levels. Shadow (our dog) gives it regular workouts.
|Look Ma! No cavities!|
• Teeth are holding up well ~ radiation is tough on teeth because saliva glands are destroyed. I'm in good hands with the Phoenixville Family Dentistry team of Anns & a Linda.
Since being diagnosed with Tonsil Cancer (Tonsil Cancer still sounds like a fake cancer to me), I have heard of or met three other people who have it. One has had a neck dissection & TORS at Penn as I did, then went to Mexico for a different form of chemo treatment. He did well and I have not heard any updates so I'm taking that as good news.
My son Phil has his first Gardasil shot, which prevents certain HPV viruses, found to be the new leading cause of throat cancer.
I'll leave you with a beautiful pie shot. Thanks for coming along on this journey with me. Ya all Rock.
|Craig's favorite pie. I love you, Craig!|