Monday, October 14, 2019

The First Day of the Rest of My Life – If It's Monday, It's #19 – October 14, 2019 – Day 44

Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms - to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way. - Viktor E. Frankl

Today was another of those days where Carolyn drove me over the 7 mountains and through the 7 valleys back to Winchester and the Cancer Center. Today is Monday and the day I had my 19th radiation treatment.

If you read yesterday's long post that covered yesterday and the previous five days, you know that last week was quite a week for me. I'll be honest. The fatigue factor is pretty much, at least to date, the only major side effect I'm experiencing from this protocol of radiation five days a week and chemotherapy once a week. But, when I say I'm experiencing fatigue, I mean I AM EXPERIENCING FATIGUE.

I had a good night of sleep last night. But, again, being honest. I really was not looking forward to the drive to Winchester. I had little appetite last night and that carried through until this morning. I know I MUST eat and maintain my weight and I must hydrate constantly. But, between the fatigue and, what I'll call, the mild dread (although it's really not as bad as I'm making it sound) of another treatment, it's hard to maintain my attitude and my motivation.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

The First Day of the Rest of My Life – The Week That Was – October 8 - 13, 2019 – Days 38-43

The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

So, it's Day #43 of my “adventure.” What happened to days 38, 39, 40, 41 and 42? Gone! They are gone in a flash, or so it would seem. So, before I run out of steam today. I'm going to attempt to bring you up to speed. I indicated at the beginning of this series of articles that I would try to write every day. Unfortunately, I hit a bump in the road. So, take a deep breath because time is going to fly in this post covering six days.

Day #38 (Tuesday)

It started like most of my days since this adventure began. I was at my friend Judy's house, I went for my 10:15 radiation treatment and was out by 10:30. After that, I went across the lobby of the Cancer Center to have my weekly laboratory blood drawn and I was done for the day.

My good friend and Air Force buddy, Dave aka Mickey Bo, who I wrote about before on Day #18 and left this link to his Internet Rock & Roll show, MickeyBo's Rock 'n' Roll Revue, drove up for another visit. We chatted for a while with my friend Judy (who Dave also knows) and then decided to patronize a very nice Thai restaurant that is well established in Winchester. We had a pleasant lunch, enjoyed the food, the service and more chat time.

Monday, October 7, 2019

The First Day of the Rest of My Life – Over the Mountains & Through the Valleys – October 7, 2019 – Day 37

It takes considerable knowledge just to realize the extent of your own ignorance. - Thomas Sowell

Today is Day 37 of this “adventure” I'm on. It was a rainy day as Carolyn drove me over the 7 mountains and through the 7 valleys (it almost sounds like the song we sang as kids at Thanksgiving and Christmas about going to Grandmother's house) to my Monday radiation treatment. The rain was good. It has been very dry in this region and we're not seeing anything of the seriously beautiful fall colors this region is known for due to the dryness.

We reached Winchester early enough to make a stop for some quick breakfast before heading to the cancer center. I walked in about five minutes early and they were ready for me, so I was finished five minutes early. Carolyn and I went over to Costco (we seemed to be drawn to that establishment even though we don't necessarily need or buy anything). From there we headed to Judy's house to drop me off. Judy wasn't home, so I let myself in, then carried my small amount of traveling “stuff” up to my room. Carolyn headed back to her place in West Virginia and I went up to my room and rested for a while.

I had an engagement at 3:30 PM at a local church in the Winchester area to do a little consulting. The topic at hand was sound and how to do certain enhancements to their system. The main issue is to mainly improve the sound of the musical portions of their Sunday worship services they stream live on the Internet. The main beneficiaries of this improvement is their shut-ins and others who may not be able to attend the church service for any of a variety of reasons.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

The First Day of the Rest of My Life – Another Lazy Sunday – October 6, 2019 – Day 36

Sunday evenings often feel like the weekend is over before it's even begun. - Catherine McCormack

Today is a nothing to report kind of day. It was basically, for me, a lost day. I enjoyed some nice food. I did a small load of laundry. Then I either sat on my backside and watched some reruns of NCIS Los Angeles or curled up on my bed and either read or slept.

I had a number of things on my agenda for yesterday and today, but this fatigue factor was really controlling my life this weekend. As the quote says, it feels like the weekend is over before it even got started. So, now, I'm preparing to head back into Winchester tomorrow for my next radiation treatments and my fifth chemotherapy treatment.

I'm still feeling good, but these treatments are beginning to take their toll. I'm not sure what I'll feel like next weekend. Being a bit lazy doesn't bother me. I enjoy relaxing as much as the next person. But, having no desire to do anything just isn't me. I can honestly say, nothing to report today and I'm not even motivated to write something creative. So, with that I'll simply say . . .

Live free and be happy. EH

Saturday, October 5, 2019

The First Day of the Rest of My Life – Time in a Bottle – October 5, 2019 – Day 35

Learn from the past, set vivid, detailed goals for the future, and live in the only moment of time over which you have any control: now. - Denis Waitley

While I'm traveling across the country, all the days of the week seem to blend into one. Time becomes a nebulous entity. I often have to look at my phone and the calendar to figure out what day of the week it is. I'm often not even sure what the date is. It's like time is in a bottle and all mixed up. But, to be honest, that doesn't bother me. I like the freedom it represents.

During my active business years I tended to live by the clock. I wore a wristwatch. I had to be much more aware of time zones and days of the week to maintain contact with clients, authors I was publishing for and vendors so I could keep projects progressing. Now, all of a sudden, with this regimen of medical treatments I'm back on the clock again. I must be aware of the days of the workweek and the time because my treatments are tightly scheduled.

So, weekends have now become identifiable time periods, again. They are times of rest and a more relaxed attitude about time since I have no treatments on weekends. I guess I would have to say I'm once again looking forward to weekends. It's like deja vu all over again.

Friday, October 4, 2019

The First Day of the Rest of My Life – West Virginia Country Roads – October 4, 2019 – Day 34

Anytime you're in West Virginia or near it, and you sing, 'Take Me Home, Country Roads,' it's a sight to behold. - Brad Paisley

Friday, the end of another week, the last radiation treatment for this week and the day I leave my friend Judy's house in Winchester, Virginia and Carolyn picks me up and transports me back to her house in West Virginia. It's Day 34 of this adventure I'm on.

The day began as the other days of the week with the exception that I had to get the stuff I wanted to take back to West Virginia for the weekend ready before heading to the hospital for my daily radiation treatment. Judy left early to head out to her weekly Bridge game. Carolyn was on her way in from West Virginia to pick me up. 

I left a few minutes early in the van to get to my radiation treatment. I arrived a few minutes early, they called me in a few minutes early and I left a few minutes early. A good start to the day.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

The First Day of the Rest of My Life – Fatigue – October 3, 2019 – Day 33

Fatigue is the best pillow. - Benjamin Franklin

Day 33 and that is what I'm experiencing. Fatigue! I don't know exactly what old Ben was thinking, but I'm sure not liking this fatigue. I guess I'm beginning to reach a point in this course of chemotherapy and radiation where this side effect, fatigue, is becoming prominent.

I am finding that I am reasonably functional for about 6 to 7 hours currently. Today should have been a pretty easy day. I only had my 15 minute radiation treatment. Then I drove over to my CPA's office to drop off some tax papers (yes, I'm one of those who seems to perpetually be on an extension each year even though my taxes are quite simple these days). And then I drove to the Walmart to pick up a couple prescriptions awaiting me. And, then it was back to Judy's house. It was about 3 PM.

I had to drag myself into the house and up the one flight of stairs to one of the spare bedrooms I'm using. I then parked myself on the bed and that was it. I didn't fall asleep. I answered emails and texts. But, I didn't have any energy to tackle any of the projects I had on my agenda for this afternoon. This is just not me. Sadly, I think this is going to get worse before it gets better. I have one more day of radiation this week.