OUR LIFE IN 3D

The Home of Daddy's Day Dare! ~ I am just trying to stay above water

Archive for the tag “Susan’s Wild Ride”

What Not to Say to a Cancer Survivor

I could write a blog post on my thoughts on Susie and her Wild Ride. She is the illustration and the definition of the word LIFE.

Yet the gods seemed to strike us both down with Cancer (the c word) about the same time. My readers often applauded my optimistic view on my journey with the c word, and how I even could joke about it.. Well, I took my cues from Susie (not to be confused with Susie Q). She was as serious as Purple Pansies.

My cancer, while serious enough, amounted to a Pop Quiz while Suzie had closer to a real full mid-term exam. (sorry, I just broke rule #3) We both are alive and well now, some 5 or so years later. And one of us is (still) traveling the globe and the other still wishes he was. 

Live Life folks!

Make this day and every day awesome!

Thanks to Susie for educating us all about what to say and not to say as well as the life of a cancer patient and survivor….

Susie Lindau's Wild Ride

susie lindau boob report picture with plants in front of her boobs before double mastectomies breast cancer

I’m almost five years cancer-free and have survived all kinds of off-hand comments. Everyone wants to say the right thing to a cancer survivor, but sometimes not saying anything would have been better. Some were well-intentioned while others seemed like heat-seeking missiles. When that would happen, I would go to a very dark place. A place filled with fear. A place without hope. A place I called The Hole. Dread and worry would swallow me. Sometimes for days. All because of some stupid remark.

It seems silly and yet there were times when I felt as if a giant C for Cancer appeared on my shirt. Some people avoided the topic altogether. Some avoided me like I was contagious. Others only wanted to talk about it.

Here’s the delio. Most survivors are cancer-free after surgery with or without chemo and/or radiation. We want to keep it that way. It’s funny…

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Desperately Strong Like Susan

Good news!

I got the reports back from my tests last week.

What tests you ask? 

I had to do a CAT Scan and a Bone Scan last week to see if my cancer spread to my lymph nodes or bones.  I was at an all-time low last week (as an old friend used to say). The fact that I had to do these tests in the first place was depressing. I am too fit, too young, have too many darling young ladies looking to me for answers to have cancer. How can this be?

And the doctor wants to see where else it went? I wasn’t supposed to have any cancer in the first place! I wasn’t prepared for good news; it’s not how these last months have gone.

So I walked into my doctor’s appointment yesterday prepared to see what else they found. My wife and I were both very nervous, with the uneasiness about our futures. The doctor finally walked into our waiting room and announces, “I have some good news!” 

What?

You made a mistake?

I’m cured?”  

Well, the news wasn’t that good. The doctor said the cancer had not spread to any other part of my body. He said, what he found was that I have arthritis in my big toe (no surprise) as well as some in the swell of my back. That was news to me but, honestly, if you would see me get out of bed some mornings it would be no surprise. I just associated it to old age.

But in the end, the good news was a BIG relief. I sighed a heavy sigh. No other cancer cells anywhere. I can have it all removed.  I felt like I had a new lease on life; lots of great, great feelings.

Now I feel like I am walking on sunshine, just like Katrina! Que the video for my actual mood…..

So my doctor laid out some options for me. Options! I now have options!

I can have surgery or one of two forms of radiation. The end result is the same but the side effects will vary. You would do me a favor and NOT look up side effects to these procedures. Trust me, they are humbling. But I do have the options. This situation can be cured. I have breath in my lungs at the end of this. And I STILL I do still get to see the smiles on my 3 girls  and provide for them for years to come. And I would take that over a few side effects lasting a month or two any day, any week.

So it was a bit of good news Tuesday. It felt like a burden lifted from my shoulders. I was happy when I left the this Doctor’s office for the first time, ever! Let’s do this I thought !

You know you feel kinda naked, lying on those x-ray tables, figuratively. I thought these images will show ALL my nasty little secrets. What else will they find? Ulcers? Blood Clots? Other Tumors?

You know what? The reports told me my 50+ year old body is mostly “unremarkable”. Unremarkable! That’s what the reports said. A mere mortal after all.

For grins, here is a listing of some of my naked secrets revealed by my two high priced body scans; such an invasion of my ultimate privacy…

  • “Lung bases are clear” Thank you Lung Association!
  • my “gallbladder, spleen, pancreas, and adreanal glands are unremarkable
  • bladder is normal” Phew, I was worried about that based on all my ‘supplemements’. I wonder if ‘normal’ is better or worse than ‘unremarkable’?
  • bowel dilation….there is no free fluid or free gas” …despite what my wife will tell you..
  • “the (my) prostate seminal vesicles are grossly unremarkable.” What’s up with that? That’s the way it reads. It sounds like a ‘whole lot of nothing’ concerning my prostate….grossly unremarkable  The doctor says it is sick and wants it for his collection.
  • Focal increase uptake in the right foot around the (big toe) …degenerative osteoarthritis or inflammatory arthritis such as gout.” Gout?! WTH? Gout?
  • what about my 70 year old shoulders….” a mild uptake in shoulders over some sumpthing sumpthing joints, a frequent degenerative pattern. This is symmetric.”Degenerative? That’s it for these worn out joints? Degenerative?
  • and the best one of all, “No areas are suspicious for metastatic disease related to the patient’s prostate cancer.” Translation, these degenerative old bones don’t show any sign of cancer. Yeah!!

So it appears I am unremarkable! Good news in the medical imaging field I suppose. It’s still a bit of a bubble-burster when all my life I have striven to be a little extra-ordinary.

As far as thoughts and prayers go, I have one thought…

a BIG

thank you

You want more good news? 

Have you been outside recently? It’s practically summer! We’re making plans to go to the beach this weekend!

Anyone who has kids knows the summer solstice is practically upon us as the kids are waking up earlier and going to bed later and later each night. So break out the flip flops and come mingle your toes with some sand this weekend with us. Its Summer time! Let’s work on some tan lines!

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More good news? 

I was paying bills last night and I looked out my window. Here is my 5 year old daughter trying to wrestle her 7 year old male neighbor to the ground. He was just standing there. It was Dylan that kept on falling off of him to the ground. It looked silly.

I just stared out the window for a minute or two. It was endearing to watch as our first miracle child is getting older, turning into a playful and wonderful little girl. PLUS, I know how hard she can body-slam! Trust me! I felt I had to watch out for the little boy. He was wearing glasses!

But here in our new address she has kids her age on both side of us, and many more riding their bikes down our street. Our girls can have so many friends here in our new location. Schoolmates…. in the ‘burbs. It does my heart good to think of the possibilities.

That is……for 5 or 6 more years…. until this 7 year old boy turns into a teenager…. just 2 years older than Dylan.

Hey!

Wait!

Someone find me a realtor!

I wanted to send a shout out to fellow blogger, Susan Lindau (Susan’s Wild Ride) who is undergoing surgery to remove cancer in her one breast on Friday. Susan is the one who frequently offer ‘blogger mixers’ where fellow bloggers can mix and mingle and meet new friends.She’s a lot of fun, always upbeat and takes you on her wild ride of life.

If you are inclined to pray for other people please remember Susan in your thoughts today. While there are cures available now its never easy when dealing with cancer; an emotional Wild Ride.

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Susan is heading into her procedure fully optimistic, with grand plans after its all over. You can’t keep this woman down!

So good luck Susan! I hope to be Susan Strong when my time comes too.

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