Sunday, November 10, 2019

The First Day of the Rest of My Life – Yikes! My Own Words – November 10, 2019 – Day 71

People have lost their dreams years, even decades, ago. They have lost their own individuality. They mainly identify with spouses, partners, family, jobs, social involvements. But, they have sublimated their own dreams so much they can no longer remember what they were.” - Ed Helvey

You read that right, that's a quote from me. Here it is, Day 71, Sunday November 10th (the day before Veterans Day) and I received an email from one of my long-time followers of this blog, Richard Rosen in Florida. Wow! As I read my own words, they seemed to be particularly meaningful today. No! Not because I wrote them, but because, as I deal with my cancer adventure, I need them to bolster myself up.

So, today, I start off with my own quote. Below, I'm going to list a number of other quotes from other “dreamers.” The intent? Simple! To inspire and encourage you to reach for those dreams that have been gathering dust in the far reaches of your memory.

But, first, here is a brief update on the past few days, Day 69, Friday and Day 70, Saturday as well as today. Eating and drinking, while still a bit challenging, has been pretty good and I've been enjoying the flavors and textures of the various foods and liquids I've indulged in over the past three days. I even had pepperoni pizza last night and polished off the cold leftovers today. I've been enjoying orange and grapefruit juice, two of the many juices I like.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

The First Day of the Rest of My Life – What a Difference a Day or Two Make – November 7, 2019 – Day 66

I learned to take those experiences that were difficult in my life and in the adversity that I had overcome to use it for a positive change. - Dominique Moceanu

So, today is Day 68 of this “adventure.” It was actually a very good day. Yesterday, Wednesday and Day 67 was a good day, too, but today was better. There seems to be a trend going on here.

Meet my buddy, Bella. I'm not a cat person, but Bella has adopted me. She is cross between a feline and a canine. That is, she is a cat, but she has certain attributes we normally associate with dogs. She will come in, play “high 5” with me, very gently reach up and touch my face, nuzzle me to pet her and then she'll curl up and make herself at home as you see her in this photo. She can be feisty with other cats and is generally a loner. But, she does bring me some comfort.

Now, let's get back to the “adventure.” Eating improved slightly yesterday along with drinking. I still dealt with the massive fatigue and low energy problem. I had about my typical 4 hours of low energy productivity throughout the day with lots of resting and napping. But, I actually accomplished a few things.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

The First Day of the Rest of My Life – Things Are Improving – November 5, 2019 – Day 66

Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Today is Day 66, Tuesday. Time just seems to be passing, but as Emerson suggests patience is the key here. So, four days have passed since my last article. But, there has been some positive change occurring.

Day 63, Saturday, was basically another day like the other days of the preceding week. Massive fatigue, no energy and still no ability to swallow food or liquids. I was continuing to lose weight. I attempted to be a little productive, but I don't feel like I was. However, even though I'm dealing with some “brain fog,” probably caused, at least partially, by not getting enough protein or carbs, I did come to the realization that I had to find a way to stop this downward slide.

So, Day 64, Sunday, I reviewed the comprehensive printed information I was given and the in-depth conversation I had with the Cancer Center nutritionist. I decided to make a shopping list of foods that would work with the exact circumstance I found myself in. It was a long list and even included a couple things that might be considered “junk food,” but they were highly caloric and I need calories.

Friday, November 1, 2019

The First Day of the Rest of My Life – Where Has Time Gone? – November 1, 2019 – Day 62


I am grateful for all the moments that I have, and I'm moving forward one step at a time to the future. - Park Bo-gum

Seven days have passed since my last article post here on the blog. Several people have wondered what happened to me. I'm here. But, at the same time, I have the feeling I'm not here.

Exactly a week ago today I had my last radiation and my last chemotherapy treatment. I had a wonderful feeling of accomplishment. I managed to get through approximately two months having my innards burned and having toxic fluids forced through my veins to attack a mass that had invaded my body and had the potential of ending my life prematurely. Now, to be honest, that possibility still exists. However, to this date, I have not received any indication that I have a “death sentence in the near future. I remain on my 46-year plan.

That being said, both my radiation and my chemotherapy doctors, who I met with the Wednesday before my last treatments, warned me that this period of recovery right after treatments ended, could be worse than anything I had experienced until then. As much as I hate to admit it, their prediction was accurate. So, here is a capsule of what has transpired since last Friday.

Friday, October 25, 2019

The First Day of the Rest of My Life – IT IS DONE! – October 25, 2019 – Day 55

Inspiration comes from within yourself. One has to be positive. When you're positive, good things happen. - Deep Roy

Today I was there on time and ready for my LAST radiation treatment and my LAST chemotherapy treatment. Both were routine. When I completed my radiation treatment I was presented with a Graduation Certificate – nice touch.

I moved all my stuff to Carolyn's car and we drove back to her place in West Virginia. I bid Judy goodbye this morning before she had to leave for a day-long commitment she had. I thanked her for all she has done to make this experience so much easier for both, Carolyn and me, by not having to drive about 140 miles round trip over the 7 mountains and 7 valleys five days a week. My McVansion is still parked in front of Judy's house and she leaves on Sunday to travel to Alabama to spend some time with her dying sister.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

The First Day of the Rest of My Life – ONE More Day – October 24, 2019 – Day 54

The most important thing is to try and inspire people so that they can be great in whatever they want to do. - Kobe Bryant

ONE MORE DAY!
ONE MORE DAY!
ONE MORE DAY!

I can't wait for tomorrow afternoon when I'll be through with radiation and chemotherapy.

Not much to report! I finally found a deal on a new Lenovo ThinkPad T470 laptop computer and made the deal today. It's being assembled at the factory and should reach me by next Tuesday or Wednesday. It's time to retire my very reliable but very slow running and tired Lenovo ThinkPad T420s. I'll likely put a small SSD drive in it, reinitiate it and keep it as a backup.

Live free and be happy. EH

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

The First Day of the Rest of My Life – Two More Days – October 23, 2019 – Day 53

In order to carry a positive action we must develop here a positive vision. - Dalai Lama

Just TWO MORE DAYS of radiation and one more of chemotherapy. If you've ever been through this regimen of treatment, you know just how significant those three words are.

This will, again, be a short post. It was actually a very positive, no, make that a very, extremely positive day today. In addition to having my radiation treatment, they also did my lab work today, a day earlier than normal. They did the lab work because I had two doctors' appointments today. One was with my radiation doctor. The second one was with my medical oncologist (chemotherapy). They wanted the lab work for the second appointment.

I'll be honest, I'm totally wiped out and have been since I arrived back at Judy's about 12:15 PM today. So, I'll save all the details of the two appointments for another day when I have some energy to think and write. However, I will say this much. Both doctors effectively gave me A++++ reports. I walked out today feeling very positive.