This blog was never intended to make a soul feel sorry for me. I started it as a communications channel for friends and family a couple of days before my nephrectomy. Once the surgery was over and I was in throes of sickness, still writing, and people started getting touch with me, something changed about my blog mission.
Cancer is a lonely disease. Even surrounded by families and armies of friends, the patients spend a great deal of time inside their own heads. Any shred of information about something that might make you well, save your life, make you feel better, keep you around, is precious. I have made a bunch of friends, who were that beacon of knowledge and hope for me from when I was a young pup of a cancer patient. I have spoken/written/texted some of them as early as today at lunch. They mean a lot to me.
So, I changed my tune and decided to go ridiculously beyond a communications channel. I wanted to write about living with cancer. God knows more and more people every day are forced to figure that out. It isn’t an easy process and being able to see into the lives of people who are further down the road is a good thing.
I get enough feedback to know this blog has struck a chord with my readers. This is why I write.
Oh what a difference 408 hours make. 408 hours ago I got the news of the spinal tumor. After multiple times of getting this news, the
• Shock and awe
stages are sped up. And because they take place in such a compressed timeframe, they’re more intense. This time it took me 408 hours. I think my last few blogs posts have borne that out. A half hour ago I was on the phone with Dr. Andy Pippas — the fifth time we’ve spoken today. He joked with me! We laughed and had a little best-friends-over-a-beer banter. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama had an issue with the Cabozantinib prescription. Even though EVERYONE I know in the kidney cancer community, those people in the trenches keeping people alive and thriving, know that this drug is particularly good medicine for RCC patients with bone metastases.
Ain’t nobody got time for that.
My call this afternoon was the good Dr. Pippas recommending that we go back to the horse we know. Yes. I had come to the same conclusion. I’ll be starting Votrient right away. Hello 35-inch waist! And that athletic cut suit I bought from Chancellor’s — the same size I wore when I walked the hallowed halls of Hardaway High School — is waiting in a bag in my closet. I got a haircut today. Emily has never seen me with white hair. I showed her a picture of what lies ahead.
What has snapped me out of my funk? Today it was music. I’m listening to a snappy ’80s Spotify playlist that Jud Richardson posted. Today has been a productive day. I’ve got my emotional legs under me, steeling for the fight and expecting to win. This is such an emotional ride. Every day as I write these posts, I can’t believe where we’ve come from. Wicked turns on a life-sized rollercoaster.
I’m writing it because I have to.
Thank you for the life-affirming displays of love. Thank you for the prayers, calls, the cards, the incredible quotes, the offers for plane rides, Go-Fund-Me accounts. We’re not there. Not saying we won’t get there someday. But it is not today. Damn, I’m beginning to think I might’ve had a good career as a televangelist. I’m also thinking I might need to get Jill to take my computer away from me when I’m in my either of my Sad or Fatalistic stages.
Thank you for following along and we seriously appreciate your prayers and wishes for my health and wellbeing.