Joy and Uncertainty

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“We were made and set here to give voice to our astonishments.”

– Annie Dillard

I am so grateful to be alive, and that I was able to have another Christmas with my loved ones. I got very sentimental about it this year, and even put up a tree, which I haven’t done in a while. The effort reminded me of how much easier things used to be, and how much less stamina have now. But the effort was well worth it, and I’m getting so much joy out of it. I’m hoping the needles won’t fall off until Valentine’s Day at least!

My markers are down for the second time in a row. Yay! They are now in the 300-600 range, which is not nearly as terrifying as it was. It’s still bad, and I still need to continue treatment, but it’s moving in the right direction now at least. I’ve also got a wonderful new oncologist in Portland. And I think I’m pretty healthy, except for the cancer… Not knowing, of course, which of the 27 things that I’m doing for treatment is working, I need to continue all of them. I’m so intensely aware that it’s only through the generosity of my family and friends through this fundraiser that I have gotten this far. I feel very blessed. And I also feel like I owe it to everyone now to keep getting better!

The uncertainty is about what happens next. How long will this combination of treatments work? How long should I continue to do each of the things that I’m doing? How can I possibly afford to continue these treatments? How far out can I make plans? What will I have the energy to do in the future?

And… I’m having a weird problem with my left foot, which the doctors are calling “foot-drop”. Don’t Google it! – The millions of things it could be caused by are too terrifying. I’m scheduled for another MRI on Monday to find out if there happens to be a tumor in my lower spine that’s causing this, and to try to figure out if it’s connected to the cancer. In the meantime, I’m tripping up stairs and limping along the beach, but I can still get around. The worst thing is that it’s a constant reminder of the cancer, especially at times that I’m feeling a little joy. I’m planning, in the new year to come up with some projects that will focus my attention on doing things that I love, and hopefully I will feel well enough to do them.

I hope that all of you had wonderful holidays, and are ready to face the new year with love and joy in your hearts as I am. Happy new year! Courage!

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