I’m Lucky and Grateful

It’s not a coincidence that I have an older post by the same name. I’m still lucky, and still grateful.

I’m writing this post as I sit in the infusion chair, getting my second weekly dose of chemo. Last week was rough–debilitating nausea–but my medical oncologist added extra medications. They’re the same medications that helped so much last time, so I’m confident they’ll make that difference again.

I’m lucky to live so close to one of the top cancer centers in the world, and to be receiving such quality care. I’m lucky this is happening during a renaissance of lung cancer treatments, as the attitude toward the disease shifts to view it as a chronic illness to be managed and treated. I’m lucky to be in good health otherwise.

I’m grateful for the people in my life who make a difference for me every day. My spouse, Charlie, has been amazing… again. He doesn’t hesitate to help in any way he can. One rough afternoon between diagnosis and treatment plan, the Labrinth cover of Express Yourself came up in a playlist and he did a dance for me that would make Sam Rockwell proud. He’s the best.

lm+ch

My friends are there for me each day, whether I want to talk about tough subjects or fall back on the comfortably mundane. My employers and friends at The Workshop have been incredibly supportive, letting me work from home during treatments and understanding when the fatigue or nausea makes that challenging. My family stays in touch and offer their support and help too.

I’m grateful and amazed to have had such an outpouring of support from my friends on Facebook and especially from folks on Twitter. The vast majority of you have never met me and yet you take the time to send me positive thoughts and well wishes. All of this support makes a big difference and I am profoundly grateful and lucky to have it.

I have radiation every weekday. I lay on the table and look up at the slowly blinking LED “stars” in the black ceiling of the treatment room as they get me lined up and prepared. Then the table moves into the tube for a CT scan followed by treatment. During treatment, it moves slowly further and further into the CT tube and I go further and further into my thoughts, hopes and dreams. At the end of treatment, the table pulls back out of the tube. It feels like I’m being born again, each day.

In many ways, I am. And so I’m lucky, and grateful.

sunrise

 

Related Posts

Be Your Own Advocate

I routinely encounter folks dealing with serious illness (mostly cancer, in my circumstances) who accept whatever the first doctor they meet tells them, even if what they’re told is that there is no hope. I

Read More »

Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Month

April is head and neck cancer awareness month! Be aware of the causes and symptoms, summarized in the graphic at the bottom. For me, it was a swollen lymph node below my jaw that didn’t

Read More »

Clinical Trial Math

Clinical trial math example: Monday + every two months = time to start worrying about my scan the following Monday. Tuesday + pain below my right ribs = worry about that AND the scan the

Read More »

My Best Days Are Ahead Of Me

Last year, I was in the hospital from chemo for my birthday, not knowing the cancer would blossom again months later. This year, I’m walking around San Francisco–short of breath sometimes, but walking–looking forward to

Read More »

Unpredictability and Patterns

The every-other-week treatment schedule has become habit at this point. In at 7:45 am, IV and blood draw, discussion with the trial nurse, meet with Dr. Ani, get the blood test results, then infusion and

Read More »

Speaking Out and its Price

I’m exhausted and stressed and sad and angry. I try to keep my posts here focused and positive, but it’s really hard at this point. I was contacted last week by the Organizing Director of

Read More »