As many of you know, since the beginning of 2015, I have been seeking my care at City of Hope up in Duarte. I couldn’t be happier, and their aggressive trial treatment has proven quite successful for me. Woo-hoo! If you look back a couple of entries, you can see the difference in my chest scans. Without being a radiologist, just looking at the areas of black (good) on the second scan compared to the first, the benefit is obvious. Yay, me!!! And many thanks to City of Hope! When I go to the facility, I always feel enveloped in skill, knowledge, caring, and yes, hope. It’s a great place.
I am also about a month in to a pulmonary rehab course at Mission Hospital. Due to their willingness to lend a hand, they’ve given me an affordable option so I can participate and take this upswing as high as I can take it. The nurses there are working with me, oh, so patiently, to increase my pulmonary capacity and efficiency so I can do more with less. They are special, special people.
What a life, right? Everything’s going the way one would want it to, so what the heck is my problem? I’m finding myself frustrated, in pain, sad, and confused. I mixed up my priorities, and now they’re difficult to streamline again. And streamline in the right direction. My doctor helped me a little yesterday, and I think I’m beginning to work through my “Ah hah” moment.
During my second admission at UCLA, I was so sick, there was never a plan for discharge, and a discharge plan is something they begin pretty much as soon as you’re admitted. One night, my family was called because the doctor wasn’t sure I was going to make it until the morning. I was a pretty sick puppy. My stubbornness won out, and I fooled them all. I had one more admission to Santa Monica for a couple of weeks, and then moved on to an oncologist down in my area. That didn’t go so well, and I got kinda sick again. With his unresponsiveness and arrogance, perhaps a gift as I look back on it, I was able to move on to City of Hope.
It’s an amazing place your brain can take you to. I have always been pretty upfront and matter of fact about stuff in my life, and this was some pretty big stuff. Being told I have Stage 4 adenocarcinoma of the lung with mets to various bones was pretty dang sobering. Upfront, it means I’m gonna die. This will kill me, unless the bus flies out of the sky and hits me first. And with my condition prior to City of Hope, it seemed I would die sooner than later. Being that matter of fact person, I have spent the last six months preparing to die. Please don’t get me wrong. I’m not walking around dressed in black with my arm around that guy with the black hood and the real sharp scythe-thingie. But I’ve been making plans for bills, final affairs, not buying things that someone’s just gonna have to get rid of, stuff like that. I need to get Willow ready to sell, and then just sit around and wait for it, right?
WRONG!!! I’ve been given a huge, incredible, wonderful, life extending gift, and it’s thrown me for a loop! Can you believe it? Now, living confuses me! What a dork! There I was, “ready” to die whenever, and it looks like that’s not gonna be anytime soon. And that’s a good thing! But I need to swing my brain back around to not expecting death just around the corner. I need to get back into my living mode, having fun mode, traveling mode, laughing mode, and experiencing life mode. I need to meet more new people, people who don’t perhaps speak Ingles, need to swim in the ocean again (once I get rid of these dang tubes), sail Willow again, drive cross-country, paddle again, have adventures again. And why the heck not??? I’m done sitting around waiting for the other shoe to drop. I can hack and move past the chest discomfort, so I CAN work on doing the things on my bucket list. So stand by. I’m back!!!!!
Thank you, Dr. Reckamp!
Much love and best fishes!!!