Tuesday, November 26, 2013

I Wish.

I feel sometimes like I should just change the name of this blog to "Depression Spiral" or something similar.  In over a decade of blogging I've certainly focused more on the negative than the positive since it's cathartic for me, but there was positive there before.  Now it just seems darker each week, a continuous descent into the depths of disappointment over this diagnosis and metamorphosis from what I was into CANCER PATIENT.

In other words I'm not adjusting well, in case that weren't obvious.

Monday, November 18, 2013


A lot has happened in the last few weeks, I just haven't felt like writing here.  Not even sure I feel like it now, but as it's been two weeks I should probably provide an update.

I'm still struggling a bit with the scuba thing.  I'm not sure that will change, but I suppose much like the physical wounds not healing as fast due to a low white blood cell count, neither are the emotional ones.  I cling to the life I had still and I have yet to embrace, if I ever will, the fact that that Rich is gone and a cancer patient remains.

On the bright side, I went down to the Mayo Clinic in Arizona and not only accomplished all of my goals but got some good news for a change.  Or at least as good news as it gets when you have an incurable form of cancer, anyways.  Dr. M. and I got along well and he agreed to take over my care -- meaning no more Minnesota trips or wondering why my doctor there wasn't contacting me.  Secondly he disagreed with Dr. F. here locally and wants me to stay on the current chemotherapy regimen (Velcade) and showed me a few charts about how not only are my numbers OK but that they are in some ways preferable to an immediate drop to near 0%.  Lastly he told me I do not have to be fully in remission, as I have been told previously, to do the stem cell transplant, so we're still looking at mid-January for that.

The Velcade thing troubles me a bit because that's a big fucking deal, but it makes sense and justifies why I wanted to be treated by the MC -- this is the advantage of having expert doctors.  If it wasn't for that opinion in a week I'd be done with Velcade and my life would be that much shorter.  Kind of scary, really, especially since I really can't blame Dr. F. here locally for his opinion.  He simply doesn't deal with this form of cancer enough to deviate from what he understands to be the best way of keeping me healthy.  It's that "understands" gap that kills you eventually, though.

One of the cool things about the new doctor is he specializes in younger patients with myeloma.  Not sure at 43 I qualify as younger but statistically I'm still on the skinny end of the curve for having this.

Anyhow that's the latest news.  I'll be heading back out to Arizona in mid-December with my wife to visit Dr. M. again and meet with the transplant coordinator and social service folks to deal with the logistics as long as things keep progressing. 

Given the holidays coming up and expected emotional turmoil those, my birthday and more importantly my daughter's second birthday are all coming up (all within the next few weeks) I may or may not be here much.  I have purposely tried to avoid thinking about most of that on an emotional level for obvious reasons but there's no avoiding it as it happens. 

Monday, November 4, 2013

That Whistling Sound.

It's been difficult for the past few days to not feel like life is passing me by.

A group of peers recently finished their journey towards becoming scuba instructors, and as I've read the updates and checked out the pictures it's been difficult not to let jealousy and even some small amount of anger and frustration through.  Not at any of them, certainly -- other people's success or failures have no impact on my own, and I'm definitely happy for a couple of them (don't know the whole group).  It's just that it's a reminder of where I was going and what it meant to me.  Took me a few days to figure that out, to understand why this was upsetting me this weekend, but it came to me last night as a minor epiphany.