This post is a continuation of my original story, sorry I kinda went off the rails for a few posts there, but they are all important, the posts flow a little like my life with interruptions. So, I hope the story doesn’t get to choppy, but it does make sense in a weird sort of way. Trying to plan nowadays doesn’t always work, so my planned posts may not follow the script. That being said for a refresher, if you want go back and read “Start of some Changes” the story picks up after that. Enjoy!
After settling on a diet that worked and a getting on my regular albeit kinda strenuous exercise program things started to kind of start feeling a little more normal again. In May of 2020, I returned to work after eight weeks of recovery from surgery and two weeks after my diagnosis, looking back that was far too soon. I had not really come to terms with how serious this was and I felt maybe returning to my job would start to make things feel normal again. Sitting here now almost a year later I know now that it will never go back to normal, it’s just finding that new sense of purpose that’s important to me. Anyway, I fit right back into the shop and was welcomed back by everyone, although I found that repeatedly telling everyone about the dire diagnosis was really taking a toll on me, it’s no ones fault and everybody does just care, but continually telling people about a terminal cancer diagnosis is completely exhausting. I would go home after that first day back and hit the couch just emotionally drained. To make matters worse this was a totally different feeling then I have ever experienced, as to those who knew me before cancer I was kind of a closed up guy, feelings, emotions? Come on we don’t need to talk about that! A few of my friends who have read these posts have joked with me about the fact I’m so open now, at least compared to before all this. Asking me, “Who is this guy”, “I didn’t know you had feelings?” Well, I guess I deserve that, lol and I still struggle to let those I’m closest too know exactly how I’m doing, but I’m getting there.
Anyways, work started to make life kinda go back to some sense of normal and gave me a bit of a routine, I liked a routine. We purchased a trailer about an hour away from the house and gave us a weekend getaway place to relax, all seemed to be going well. My first couple of lab work test were showing my Oncologist that something was going on in me, the blood and urine counts were inconsistent and were raising (bad news), while it wasn’t dramatically worse, I was referred for a second opinion at the Hamilton Juravinski Center. Now that I was worried about, I thought that was where they sent the extremely sick patients. I went there in October of 2020 and was thrown by the size of hospital, I had a little trouble finding where to go, but eventually found the right reception office. I was greeting with a smile, pointed to the lab, to go through the same old routine of blood work. I met about an hour after that with another Oncologist and honestly he didn’t have much to say other then what I had already known, things were a little off, but I showed no symptoms of carciniod syndrome, so there was time to sort this out properly. The fact I usually come well prepared to my appointments, made it a very positive meeting and I was told he would discuss his treatment recommendations with my primary Oncologist and then I would be consulted as to what their decisions would be moving forward.
I only had to wait a week to get a phone call back from my Doctor to say that they thought that my treatment was on track and nothing to serious needed to be done right away, but that they were going to up my dosage of Sandostatin from 30mg to 60mg. She said’ “We want to see if more medicine will help block these tumors before we have to try a more invasive type approach, we want to save more aggressive treatment if things get worse.” I was kind of relieved not to spend more time in a hospital or a harsher treatment, but also worried that maybe this wasn’t enough. I agreed with their decision, but also let her know I’m open to any kind of treatment that would prolong my life. She assured me that she is always on the look out for a clinical trail that may benefit me. Like I said before, I have good Doctors and I do trust them.
When my next shot came due, I went to the lab as usual and hadn’t put any thought how the shot would work now. “I’m sure it’s still one needle just more medicine, it’s only 30mg more”, is what I thought. I rang the doorbell, got my vitals taken as usual and found my chair, looked over at the counter and saw two vials being mixed and two syringes, “Are those both for me?” I asked the nurse. “Yes sir they are Stephen”, was the reply. Oh boy……. you already know the rest…..