Today is the last weekday of my 4 week break from arsenic infusions (chemo). I did still have to go in once per week to get the dressing changed on my PICC line and I had 1 appointment with my NP. Other than those few visits, life was back to normal for the past 4 weeks, which has been wonderful.
By the first Monday, I had my appetite back and I have been enjoying eating, so much so that I have put back on 10 of the 25 pounds I lost during the first 2 months of chemo. Since that Monday we have been enjoying being out of the house. We made a trip to Tucson to see my dad and 2 of my sisters, we have gone to a couple of our granddaughter’s soccer games, gone out to eat, started singing again at church, we went to our cabin for the first time since July, we have spent a lot more time with our daughter and her family which included a nice birthday dinner for Maggie and being at their house for Halloween, and many more little bits of freedom that we used to take for granted.
Next Monday I will start back on 4 weeks of chemo, but I have so much to be thankful for this November. When I started chemo, I felt pretty good for the first 2 or 3 weeks, so I am hopeful that I will only feel the effects of the chemo for 1 or 2 of the 4 weeks. With my chemo treatments only being Monday to Friday (they were 7 days a week for the first month), we are hopeful that the chemo fog, exhaustion and lack of appetite won’t be as bad.
In addition to hopes for feeling better in November than in September, Thanksgiving and our wedding anniversary, which are both on November 24th, will be much more meaningful this year. On Thanksgiving, I will have so much more gratitude for our friends and family who have been so supportive in so many ways, not the least of which is all of the prayers that have been prayed for my recovery. I am also thankful for the wonderful and encouraging doctors, nurses and staff at the MD Anderson Cancer Center. And mostly, I will be, and am eternally, grateful for my wife of the past 38 years, my beautiful Maggie. I can’t imagine what my life would be like without her. She has wholeheartedly accepted the “for better or worse” part of our wedding vows. She attends every appointment with me, wraps my PICC line dressing every day so that I can take a shower, flushes my PICC line any day that we do not go to the cancer center, made me eat even when I didn’t want to when I was getting chemo infusions, and she has been my anchor, my advocate and the love of my life through this whole ordeal. I can’t imagine going through this without her.
Thank you once again to all of you for your constant love and support! With the help of all of you, we are beating this cancer!