When I looked that my last post was June I really realized how this year has slipped away from me! I have written a number of posts but none have made it to the publish stage. More about why that is below.
I began taking college classes this fall. Yes old me! I am taking creative writing (love this class!) and a programming class. I was a programmer back in the day- so I took the challenge of trying a new language. I had forgotten how you can pull your hair out over it! But it is fun in a way that is hard to explain. School has changed so much from when I went years ago. There is a lot of work! And of course I study harder now than I did then because I care about my grades as I am not distracted by cute boys (except the one I am married to) and also I don’t feel the need to go out and drink beer until 1 am on a school night! Go Bobcats! (A reference to my school mascot- Frostburg State!)
I decided to attend school as a diversion and to get me out of a funk. The diversion from being consumed with worry over Kevin’s cancer diagnosis and treatments. And the worry has made me physically sick and mentally depressed. My normal outlets like riding my horse – have been out of order because my body is out of order.
I have a broken chi -I think- because things are falling apart! A new chronic pain issue – which I am very frustrated by but need to be a patient patient – is keeping me off my horse- I have not ridden since July. I can do some workouts in the gym but they are carefully orchestrated.
I also had a nasty gallbladder attack in July and have stones so the thing needs to come out. I have not scheduled that surgery because of the pain issue -but the GB surgery may have to happen if another attack occurs. I have lost ten lbs bc of diet changes as I am leery of getting another attack.
And the last whammy has come from my cardiologist whom I see only yearly because of small non serious issue but one that needs to be monitored. It seems my latest EKG was “a little off from the last one” – its is not related to the non-serious issue – but I need a test for that- though she wasn’t super concerned. AND bc my cholesterol has gone up I need to get a test to see if I have clogged arteries. It is a type of CT – nothing invasive. Anyway blah! It just keeps on coming. I feel like our social life exists only in medical offices! Is this a manifestation of worry and grief? Or of getting old? Maybe it is both.
This years has been sucky. It has turned our lives upside down. It has made us talk about so many things – past , present and future. We are pondering many things at the moment. Where do we want to be living in the long term and when do we make that move? Losing our friend Mike was a hard one for us. His memory is on every fiber of this little farm of ours and at the beach too. There is this lonely place in my heart where he once was. It has been a sad time. Part of me is ready for a change the other is rooted to this little farm that I feel so blessed to have. But it is hard work. And sometimes just too much. So uncoupling from this place is part of the conversations we have. It will be a while for this to happen as other things need to come first but it is in the thinking stage. Sometimes life changes on a dime and you have to make choices in light of those changes.
When I had cancer it was easier for me to write about it. It came from such personal place but it was also a way for me to release my feelings instead of holding them in which is unhealthy. Writing is cathartic for me but in my current situation with Kevin I am feeling very vulnerable writing about sharing things. It is just hard – even when it is good news to share.
So the latest on Kevin has been all good. The last scans show his tumors have shrunk a good amount. This is excellent news. His docs are pleased. It has not been a cake walk, there has been side effects, and illnesses – one infection from food bacteria. And that took a long while to heal because with the immunotherapy the body hyper reacts to illness.
His thyroid is shot but this is a common side effect from immunotherapy and they are leveling out his thyroid numbers now. He is tired a lot. But he can workout and has begun some running again. By dinner he is done for the day and to do anything later in the day is a chore for him. He will have to have this treatment for a good while even if his tumors go away. Melanoma is a tricky bitch so you can never let your guard down. He will have more scans in December and I am hoping it is a PET scan as that shows some additional info that is nice to have.
Kevin, of course, has the most amazing attitude. Well he is amazing. I have not seen him have a day where he is just really down about the cancer, the treatments, and the subsequent side effects and illnesses. Well except one day when we had to go to the cancer center ER for that food borne infection. But he was in a bad way that day. He is just an overall great person who I feel has been ripped off getting this freaking disease. But fight with grace is what he continues to do.
School has been very good for me. I am happy I signed up. What I really am trying to do is live in the NOW. I want to be present.. I want to find joy in my day – I want to focus on the good news of Kevin’s cancer regression. I don’t need to be drawn to where the fear is. It is not a good place to live, so when I feel it I meditate or I distract myself with the challenge of school work. If I get a good grade – it makes me happy. If I solve a hard programming lab- it makes me proud – and for those moments I am not sitting in that sea of sadness. I actually feel thankful that I found this new outlet. I hope to ride my horse again regularly but taking classes might be a new thing for me. And for now it is has gotten me out of a bad place.