Time has flown by
Today marks two years ago that I had my Initial surgery to remove what at the time was thought to be an abnormal growth in my gastrointestinal area of my body. There was mention from my surgeon before the surgery that because of irregularities in my blood test that this could possibly be cancerous and that I should be aware that some form of treatment could follow to help eradicate any possible cancer cells they may find. Little did I know that a month later I would receive a phone call that would turn my world upside down and a stage IV diagnosis, but if you’ve been following along you know the story.
After two years in I’ve come a long way in learning about my disease, different ways to treat it and most importantly what’s really important in life moving forward. So I’ve had 44 injections (treatment) already, I’m including the 2 when the needle blocked and the nurse had to swap out needles, leading to an extra poke. Now to some that may seem like a lot and I’m not even including bloodwork done, I.V’s administered. However, that amount pales in comparison when I speak to others in my support group, who I believe some are close if not into the thousands of injections. While painful for my new friends, it gives me a small sense of peace, that although these needle suck and do hurt I have many to go and that means “TIME”.
So, today after wetting my hair for a haircut, my first one in i’m guessing about five plus years, I’m usually a long hair guy then out come the clippers and it’s down to the wood. While drying my hair a bit today I take notice of that scar from just below my belt line to up and around my belly button. It’s healed up well and not really even noticeable anymore, but when I run my hand over it I can still feel the bump and reminds me to do my best, to be grateful every day and try to do something meaningful. The first year of dealing with this was probably the hardest, learning to adjust, having my markers fluctuate and getting all the right scans that unfortunately tells how widespread the disease had become. During this year past we’ve learned to settle in and hope for a long fight with this, simplified our lives by downsizing, putting more effort into experiences than material possessions. Adjusting to life know that I realize working a typical job, full-time is no longer an option and adopting a lifestyle more geared to managing my health. Trust me at some points and during some months navigating treatment and appointments is full-time work and mentally exhausting.
However as I write this I feel well today and have a clear mind, after adopting a meditation routine into each day consistently now for a week straight I can already sense some help it’s doing, I think I’m a bit more aware and present in the moment, something I’ve been desperately trying to do for a while now. Along with reading and writing everyday it has kind of got that motor in my head to start spinning aa bit faster and I feel like I can retain information a bit better than I did even a couple months ago. This is very important to me as what comes with this disease and treatment is a brain fog that can be trying to deal with, this is very common amongst most cancers, from what I’ve read. Along with exercise and diet (like I always say) I sit here and am content, I feel stronger than I have in a while and although I’ve had to take a couple days off from running, I have a bit of a wonky knee right now, physically I’m ok. After two years of refining my diet and stop being so hard on myself that way I’m back up to 184lbs, which is still lower pre-surgery when I was at 205lbs, but significantly more than 165lbs when I was at my lowest about a year ago.
I was out for a hike the other day, in my new hometown and one real positive is a river runs through it. The ice has melted and the water level is good, so the wheels are spinning, it’s gonna be time for a canoe ride very shortly to explore this new area to me. While out hiking I took the time to grab some good pictures and walk the bank to scout a good route downstream. Paddling in your local area is far overlooked and I’m guilty of that to, instead of a 5 hours drive north, my first adventure will be a 10 minute portage from the house, so if you live in Mitchell and see a strange guy walking with a canoe over his head downtown, don’t worry it’s just me… Maybe you should come along?
We’ve come a long way in two years, wow, already two years of this lots of ups and downs, bottom line is the disease is “stable” at this point. Given my original diagnosis of 10 to 15 years to live and that as we progress my quality of life is supposed to deteriorate. Well today I don’t feel that at all and as soon as I’m finished here I’ll be outside taking inventory of my camping/canoeing supplies and preparing for the summer ahead. We never know how much time we have… Think I’ll make the best of it!!!
Updates and Announcements
I will be fiddling with my blog site over the next while as I move it to a different hosting platform, hoping to reach more people, awareness is the key! Also below is a link to my latest video added to my You Tube channel, this one I spent more time on so, I hope you all like it and please subscribe, like and comment on both platforms, that would be awesome!!!
Feel Free to share, anyone who’s ever thought of heading Algonquin, check it out.
Thanks for all the great comments and likes on my last post! Love you all. Cheers…Steve