Sunday, April 15, 2012

Expanding the story

I met with the doctor last narrative-changing news, but I probably should have posted a note a little earlier for those of you still following the story.

He was disappointed that the return of the diaphragm and shortness of breath have not progressed, but he WAS pleased that I am gaining strength.

Weight loss is a concern - chemo treatments will be delayed until I put on some weight.  After years of dieting and exercise, it's an odd switch to be concentrating on beefing up. In the meantime I will be meeting with the oncologist shortly to see what the next steps for chemo treatment will include.

Also had a very enjoyable visit this weekend with my Mom and sister (Rhoda and Rhonda) who visited here in San Francisco.  It was long over due and good for all of us -

Trying to get on track with the new 'normal.'  Since this is a daily slog, I'll keep the posting to a minimum. Don't see much "news" in the amount of protein shakes I'm trying to keep down.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Baby Steps

The past several weeks have been all about scars healing, bones meshing and connecting and overall recovery.  I am very surprised that the incision, which was closed with what looked like railroad ties (I swear they used 1/2 inch thick staples to close me up, and a LOT of them) is healing into a "not so bad" straight line scar.

Additionally, the chest bones seem to be healing well and right on target time-wise.  There is also progress on the recovery steps - it is almost embarrassing that something as simple as a 30 minute non-stop walk can be a major accomplishment, but there you have it.

My primary challenges remain shortness of breath, speaking and diaphragm issues which all wear me out.  Turns out vocal chords seem to be closely wrapped up with speaking, swallowing, breathing and coughing, which, because of the temporary partial paralysis of one of my chords, seems to explain the problems I'm having with "speaking, swallowing, breathing and coughing."  The good news is I continue to get stronger so I'm up and about more easily and often.  My vocal chords do kick in long enough for me to recognize my voice for several minutes every day, but I still sound like a soft spoken Froggy most of the time.

Other developments: I am nurturing facial hair and some fuzz on the top of my head. Progress!

Over the last 10 days or so we spent some time in Carmel and a weekend in Sausalito to try and give me a change of pace and opportunities to force me to get out and about and extend those walks.  Glad to say it worked!

Next visit with the doctor is on April 11 when I will hopefully get some direction on future chemo, recovery and maintenance targets.