I’m not really sure where to start this one. Most of my blogs have been running updates on my condition, and how my treatments are going, or, if it’s time to start a new treatment.
But now, for the first time in 12 years, there is no treatment. No plans for new treatments. Usually by now, I’ve been in contact with a new doc, a new oncologist for either chemo or radiation or a clinical trial. Scans would be planned.
Over the years, I’ve gotten used to the scan routine. Go to Blodgett Hospital, get injected with the radioactive stuff that lights up my bones, and while that was happening getting a line put into my port so they can inject the contrast for the CT scan. After the CT scan, which would come close to making me sick every time, escaping for a couple of hours to grab a bagel and coffee at Tera Bagels (incredibly good bagel shop) and then go browse the used book stores in Eastown for WWII books.
After those 2 hours, go back to the hospital, show them my arm band so I can get in with a smile and a wave, lay on a table for a half hour and let the machine scan my bones. After that, head for home and wait for the results. Scan day is something I did a lot over the past 12 years.
When I first started getting scans back in 2010, results would take up to 5 days. 5 days of worry, 5 days of nervousness, 5 days of coming up with scenarios that were probably worse than anything that would actually happen to me. But now in the past few years, I get results to my patient portal on my phone the same day I got scanned. A blood test in the morning would get me a PSA number in the afternoon.
I have to admit, and I’m sure most cancer patients would agree with me, the expedited version of tests was WAY preferable over waiting a week. My brain could go lots of different places in 5 days.
But this situation I’m in now, I’m completely unfamiliar with. I haven’t had a scan since October. It’s kinda weird not knowing which direction my cancer is heading. I know it’s now in my bones, which is why I snapped my femur turning over in a hospital bed back on Black Friday. I also know it’s invaded my bladder, because I continue to be hooked up to a catheter and I can see big ol blood clots come through and into my bag that is constantly by my side.
So, I’m now in the limbo of Hospice. When I first arrived home, there was still a significant amount of pain I was dealing with. My catheter set up was not the greatest, and was causing me to bleed a lot. But the people of hospice are dedicated to make sure their patients are as pain free as possible, and after a few adjustments, that pain was relieved. Also, my nurse made sure that my pain was relieved by the right amount of drugs.
My leg is healing well, but at first I would have sleepless nights when the pain would just not let up. Morphine has been the answer for that, along with some healthy doses of OxyContin.
So, if your keeping score at home, I’m taking morphine and Oxy for the pain, and also a drug called Lorazepam for anxiety. I was having these really gruesome nightmares, and that drug has settled those down. The hospice people are true saints. They are providing me excellent care.
But, really the biggest news for our family has been the birth of our grandson, Jonathan James Cole, born on December 20, 2022. A 7lb 14 Oz 20 1/2 inch’s bundle of joy. Mother and son are all doing awesome, and Holly and I are very proud grandparents. Here’s a pic!!
So, life goes on, as life does. I don’t know what is happening inside my body, and frankly, for the first time in 12 years, I don’t really care. Over the past 2 months, we have been blessed so much by the prayers of family and friends. Meals have been dropped off, cookies have been baked, cards have found their way into our mailbox, and I’ve had lots of visitors. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. Words cannot express the gratitude I feel for all of you that have checked in on me, and have provided support.
Some days I get tired, some days are painful and frustrating, and tears have been shed.
But the one thing I’m not doing is asking why. I’ve never felt closer to God, and I have complete faith in whatever he has in store for me. That’s even weird for me to say, a natural born cynic whose always been more of a doubting Thomas than a pious Paul. But, there is a peace in me that’s really never been there before. A peace that comes with an assurance that things are going to be alright.
My family is growing. I have friends that love me. I am truly a blessed man.
Thanks for reading.
P.S. For those who have been reading my blogs for the past 5 years and have been wondering, “What about Zoey?” My faithful friend that I’ve shed a few tears with over the years is still by my side. I can’t walk her anymore, so you won’t see me in the neighborhood, but Travis and Holly have been pretty good at getting her out there for her daily walks. So, if you see her, give her a wave.