11 Months Out

Good afternoon. I’ve had several people suggest that I update this blog, so here goes…I am not quite a year past my last chemo and radiation treatment. In some ways, it feels like it was a million years ago, or just a dream. My energy is not quite back to what it was before my first treatment began in November of 2013, but I feel like I am definitely gaining normality. I do 2 massages a day, (I tried 3 last week, but may not do that very often.) I rest or take a nap in-between massages, but still seem to be pretty tired by dinner time. I typically walk 1 and 1/2 miles a few times a week with my good friend, Cathy Ramsey. And, as often as I can, I am in my garden weeding, watering, and trying to keep my plants alive in this hot Texas sun. Gardening is one of the best therapies I can think of–it connects one to the earth, is an automatic stress reliever, and is a source of immediate gratification. The heat is absolutely overwhelming to me, but I don’t think I’m alone in that.

Obviously, my days of incredible weakness from the combination of chemo and radiation are in the past. Michael and I just returned from a trip to the North Rim of Grand Canyon, Zion National Park, and Oregon. While in Oregon, we visited my brother, Reid and family on the shores of Diamond Lake for several days. Aaaahhhh. The weather was divine–45 at night and low 80’s during the day (if you were in the sun). Crater Lake is only 30 minutes from Diamond Lake, so the 6 of us made a day trip there. There is no way to describe the grandeur of these places if you haven’t seen them. AND, the coolest part was that Michael’s foot wound had improved enough that we were both able to hike 3-4 miles a day. What a mental boost for both of us! A few people commented that he was moving better with a crutch than they were with 2 good feet. Reid, Michael, and my 2 nephews had a very successful trout fishing excursion one day, while my fabulous sister-in-law, Jeanne, and I had a relaxing morning. Then we all had a divine fish fry! To make the trip,we flew into Las Vegas and out of Reno, rented a car, and managed to put 1800 miles on it. I have to say I think Nevada is a very desolate state. The early pioneers were a lot tougher than I am.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that, as always, my family has been a continual boost to me. In particular, I have 2 very precious grandsons and one on the way. They are so much fun, and we are very fortunate that they all live within 30 minutes of us.

My next check-up is August 21-22. I have bloodwork, a CT scan, and a physical with Dr. Shafer, the gynelogical oncologist. I expect everything to be good, but promise to share the results on a future blog. My sister, Lynda, made me a sign last year that I keep in my room, and I have to believe it’s true. It says, “Cancer Free August 1, 2017”.