Round Two

This past Monday’s post ‘This Friday – The Next Stage‘, I wrote the following –

Dr. L. is honest and upfront with respect to my cancer.  There is no cure for my cancer; this next round of chemotherapy treatment is to hopefully stop the cancer from spreading or slow down the progression of it.  Once this chemotherapy is over, there are other treatment options available and at that time we will discuss the next steps to be taken.

This Friday, I will begin my next round of chemotherapy, the next stage in my journey with cancer.

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In today’s post, I write the following –

Round Two –

Today I start my chemotherapy.

I have been through this before and I know the process.

Round one of chemotherapy was 1 treatment for 2 weeks and then 1 week off.  There were 4 cycles that resulted in 12 weeks.

Round two of chemotherapy is 1 treatment for 1 week and then 2 weeks off.  There will be 4 cycles that results in 10 weeks.

I have been through this before and I know the process.  What I do not know are the results.

For now, I do not know the results of the chemotherapy treatment once it is completed.  These results will be revealed many weeks from now.

For now, I do not know the results of how this chemotherapy treatment will affect me.  These results will be revealed in the next many days from now.

Round one of chemotherapy I was tired a lot, but was never nauseated and did not lose my hair.

Round two of chemotherapy I expect to be tired a lot and I hope not to be nauseated or lose my hair.

I have positive expectations of this chemotherapy treatment for both long term and short term.

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This Friday – The Next Stage

The last day of March in my post ‘So, what’s next?‘, I concluded with the following –

Next week will be a busy week; we are moving to a new location, but more importantly test results and doctor’s visits to determine what is to come next in my battle with cancer.

In today’s post, I begin with the following –

Last week was certainly busy as Gary, his mom and I traveled from Orlando to Pensacola to take mom back to the younger brother on Monday.  The next day Tuesday, we hooked the RV to the truck and made our way to Tampa.

We have settled into our new temporary living location at the RV park located on MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida.  We are fortunate again to be living on a military facility that offers many amenities to us.  Besides the RV park, we have the base commissary, movie theater, gym, and the mess hall & other food establishments on base.  We are also within minimal walking distance to the base’s white sandy beach on Tampa Bay with views of both Tampa and St. Petersburg skylines.  Directly out of the base gates we are greeted with the very nice city of Tampa.

You may remember two weeks ago after my initial consultation at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, I had a series of tests because it appeared my cancer may have spread.  In my post last week ’57 Today‘, I spoke about a brief conversation I had with my new Oncologist Dr. L. about the possibility of my cancer spreading to Lymph Nodes in my lower back also known as the lumbar region.

Friday of last week I met with Dr. L. to discuss the results of the previous week’s tests and my future.

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At this time, there is no indication my cancer has spread to any major organs or my bones.  However, it is confirmed my cancer is in the lumbar region Lymph Nodes as well as the thoracic region Lymph Nodes.

Dr. L. discussed his concerns and we had a conversation about the treatments available and expectations.  It was decided the next step for me is to have another round of chemotherapy.  This time a different drug will be used over the course of the next couple of months.

Once the chemotherapy treatment is completed, tests will take place again to determine the results of the treatment.  Upon the receiving of those results will determine what comes next with regards to my battle with cancer.

Dr. L. is honest and upfront with respect to my cancer.  There is no cure for my cancer; this next round of chemotherapy treatment is to hopefully stop the cancer from spreading or slow down the progression of it.  Once this chemotherapy is over, there are other treatment options available and at that time we will discuss the next steps to be taken.

This Friday, I will begin my next round of chemotherapy, the next stage in my journey with cancer.

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Walk in other’s shoes

Compassion & Empathy, feeling what others are feeling and putting ourselves in other’s place without judgment.

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Without saying to ourselves, they have it easy and I have it worse.

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Or thinking about me feeling the way I feel about my health, knowing there are people out there that have it much worse; they could be saying you are experiencing nothing compared to me.

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I think no matter what level of hardships we have in our lives, we need compassion and we need empathy, we need to put ourselves in other’s shoes for a moment.

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We need to realize we are different and we deal with things differently and we need to try to understand the other person or at least empathize.

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We can learn, we can grow and help one another without judgement but instead with a feeling and a realization we can help one another.

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Instead of comparing and saying you have it better than me or I have it worse or that is nothing compared to me.

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From my post ‘those around me‘, I conclude with the following –

I sit, I wait, I watch, I ponder, I accept, I acknowledge and then I realize cancer does not discriminate.

There are black, white, young and old; a man wearing a dress shirt and tie, the stately woman and the tougher looking guy. Then there is the woman with the pink hair, the majestic woman needing a little extra help, the chatty lady next to me and the young man across from me.

Today I sit for hours taking in those around me.  Today I sit for hours viewing those near to me.  Today I sit for hours receiving chemotherapy amongst others; those around me.

The lab experiment

From my post ‘Stage 4‘, I wrote the following –

I currently am seeing Dr. P. at the Naval Air Station Pensacola hospital.  The PET Scan and the Oncologist I will see will be located at a hospital outside the naval base.  The PET Scan is not performed at the naval base hospital as well as oncology services.  Dr. P. is associated with this outside hospital as well and this will be where my future surgery will take place.

Yesterday, I met with my new oncologist Dr. D. and we discussed my health history and the current condition regarding my cancer.  Upon reviewing my recent CT scan and the related information from Dr. P., she indicated to me my cancer is stage 4.

From my post ‘The number 12‘, I wrote the following –

I will have 4 cycles of chemotherapy; meaning each Thursday for 2 weeks I will receive the chemotherapy and then have 1 week off – 4 cycles equal 12 weeks.

Today’s post, I write the following –

My oncologist Dr. D. ordered the PET Scan that my urologist Dr. P. had requested.  The PET scan took place this past Monday and will serve as a ‘starting point’ and at the end of my chemotherapy another will take place to see any differences.  These scans should help to determine if the nodules on my lungs are cancer or not.  The nodules are small, therefore cannot be biopsied and these scans should help with this determination.

As indicated in my post ‘Drain‘, I have a tube inserted in my back directly into my right kidney to help relieve the pain I have experience for quite some time now.  Originally it was thought this tube would be inserted for the full 12 weeks of chemotherapy, but because there was also a stent placed in my ureter, the tube may be removed in a couple of weeks.  The stent would remain in place until after chemotherapy is completed.

My oncologist Dr. D. is out of the country and I was seen this week by another oncologist in the same office.  The appointment was then proceeded by my 2nd week of chemo yesterday.  Next week will be my 3rd week of the cycle and therefore I will take a week off before starting the next cycle.  My oncologist Dr. D. will be back starting my 2nd cycle of chemotherapy.

These past few weeks have been a whirlwind of doctor appointments, procedures and hospital stays.  I feel like a lab experiment with the medical port inserted into my chest and a tube protruding from my back.  And now my medicine cabinet overflows with medications of drugs I am unable to pronounce the name to.

I know this whirlwind soon will be a memory and life again will calm down from the hectic medical situation that it is today.  I know this to be true.

There will be additional doctor appointments, procedures and hospitals in the near future.  The lab experiment that is me today will again someday soon be a healthier person.

Me (2)

 

The roadmap to remove cancer

In my post ‘5 days, and more‘, I wrote the following –

We are starting our 5th full day here in Pensacola, Florida.  Today is an important day in that I have my first doctor’s appointment here.  My appointment is with my Primary Care Manager at which time a referral will be submitted for a urologist visit; hopefully sometime within a week.  Several weeks ago, I faxed a portion of my medical records from my previous urologist Dr. F. in Dallas; I wanted the Primary Care Manager here to be aware of my situation.  My hope is this would place an emphasis on the importance of receiving a referral as soon as possible.  The completed medical records will be delivered today.

In today’s post, I write the following –

My first visit with my Primary Care Manager and Naval Hospital of Pensacola were excellent.  I felt very comfortable with my new Primary Care Manager and his urgency to meet my needs were outstanding.  The visit involved him learning about the history of my cancer, prescribing medications for my pain and ordering lab work and chest X-ray. He proceeded with the instant referral for me to see the in-hospital urologist.  I was amazed with the speed at which this process took place: initially this could take up to a week.  Following the visit with my Primary Care Manager I had the opportunity to visit with my new urologist Dr. P.

I am absolutely totally pleased with Dr. P. and I feel extremely comfortable in his excellent expertise from this point on with regards to my care.  We spoke about my history of cancer and surgeries for this past year and he discussed the future options available.  Before a future option is decided, other activities must first take place.

Dr. P. desires a roadmap before we can proceed with making a decision for the immediate future selection.  This roadmap starts with a chest, abdominal and pelvic CT Scan with contrast; then will be followed by a surgical procedure.  The CT Scan took place this past Wednesday and the surgical procedure should take place next week.  I have an appointment with Dr. P. this morning to discuss the results of the CT Scan.

The surgical procedure next week requires that I be placed under general anesthesia at which time Dr. P. will use a scope to view my urinary tract system to determine if the cancer is in other areas besides the bladder.  Upon this procedure Dr. P. and I will discuss my options in greater detail and make a decision for my next major surgery.  He has indicated the surgery will most likely be scheduled for late this month or early next month.  Also depending on the results of the CT Scan and surgical procedure; the possibility of Chemo Therapy may be required.

Gary and I are extremely pleased with the response from the Naval Air Station Hospital and my new doctors.  I feel very comfortable with our new living location, my new doctors and the possibilities for the future.

Me (2)

 

The Truck on The Pole

dreamstop.com has the following –

Truck – A truck is a dream symbol of transportation, which almost always represents the journey toward your aims, goals, and aspirations. A truck is a fairly optimistic symbol, as it encompasses overtones such as stability and toughness, as well as the ability to drive over obstacles or haul them out of the way, and four-wheel drive to keep you going even if the driving surface is slick or slippery.

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About a month ago, I had a dream.  I woke and promptly voice recorded my dream.  Here are those words –

My truck is somehow balanced on a very tall pole.  The pole maybe 40-50 feet high and is near buildings in a courtyard type setting.  There are many people walking around and most do not see the truck.  I get a very tall ladder and climb to the truck thinking I can just drive the truck off the pole.  I realize I am unable to do this and get out of the truck and lock the door not realizing I left the truck running.  It is not until much later I realize I have another set of keys in my pocket.  While the truck is running, I search for someone that will help me.  There are many people around, but I feel not just anyone can help so I select a few to ask.  The people I ask are security guards, policemen, people with an authority or respect.  Some are willing to help and others will not.  Finally, someone offers to help and during the time it is talked about how to get the truck off the tall pole; the other people around start realizing what is taking place.  A crowd gathers and finally the determination is that the only way to remove the truck from the pole is to use a very large building crane.  This is the ending to my dream, and I wake and wonder what this dream was about.

dreammoods.com has the following –

Pole 

To see a pole in your dream represents security and stability. The dream is a reminder that you always have something or someone you can lean on.

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I believe my dream represents my journey that is beginning to take place.  Not the travel adventure that is currently on hold, but my personal journey with cancer.  And though there will be many people to support me and be there for me, I will rely on one person that I respect who will be there every step of the way.  He is stronger than I, balanced and towering high like a building crane upwards above the tallest buildings.

I will be tough and move forward over the obstacles that will be in my way.  But, I know also I have someone I can lean on for security and stability.

When the surgery takes place, a crowd will gather of family and friends.  My new journey will begin and that someone that is Gary will be there for me as he always has been.

Security, Stability Optimism, Toughness – someone to lean on – that is the dream, that is my reality.

Pretending?

That man wearing the expensive suit and driving that expensive car and with that expensive haircut – there is a man who is fake, a man who feels sadness, a man who needs fulfillment in his life.

The woman behind the shabby apron and torn outfit, with the hair falling in her face to hide the bruise, who is frustrated and tired – there is a woman who is scared and fragile, who wants more, who is searching for something else.

A boy who is taking his frustrations on someone else; making someone else feel less than him, making someone else feel bad with pain – there is a boy who is looking for something more in his life, something better, because he is empty and needs to be complete.

That girl who is consuming to exist, struggling, using her body, making someone else feel good – there is a girl who is weak in search for more, in search for herself, a chance, a better person, a better path and a better journey.

Are these people all the same?

Do they have needs and wants and desires?

That man, the woman, a boy, that girl: are there things missing in their lives, things that need to be found, areas of their lives that are vacant that need to be filled with something?

Are they looking for joy, happiness, appreciation, searching for love, value and looking to be noticed?

Those exteriors, those actions, those fronts, those pretends – do they really help, do they really bring something to their lives, that fulfill them?

I just want to see them how they are with their thoughts – who they are with their true actions.

I have my thoughts, I may talk funny and I may not use the correct speech and I make mistakes and have typos on my blog, and I may not use the correct words; but that is who I am.

I am not pretending to be something I am not.  Or am I?  I am who I am, but I pretend to be more.

That man is no longer; he no longer feels sadness and has found some fulfillment in his life.

The woman is no longer; she is strong and secure, no longer searching for something else.

A boy may still exist; but he continues to search to be better, there is still some emptiness and completeness that needs to take place.

That girl may still struggle some; but she is finding a chance, a better person, a better path and a better journey.

Those people; that man, the woman, a boy and that girl – all those people are me at some point in my life.

I had needs and wants and desires. And I Was Pretending.

I have needs and wants and desires.  And I Am Still Pretending.

I pretended to be someone I was not.  I pretend to be someone I want to be.  I am not pretending to be who I am.

Pretending?

, it felt like home

In my post ‘Home For Sale‘, I wrote the following –

I will admit, as much as I am excited about moving forward, I am somewhat sad about leaving this current home.  13 ½ years, this house we have called home.  I still remember seeing this home and walking through the front door for the first time.  It only took a few minutes and I told Gary “This is it, this is the one!”  We had previously spent months viewing properties and this one immediately stood out and I knew it would be our home.

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In my post ‘Fingers Crossed‘, I concluded with the following –

Yes, this is very good feedback!  Now the waiting begins.  What will their decision be?  When will the decision be made?  Will we receive an offer?

We will have to wait a few days.

I wrote this post on Sunday morning and am publishing today.  It has been a few days now since that very good feedback.

The waiting continues.

Fingers Crossed.

In today’s post, I begin with the following –

Last Tuesday evening, we received an offer!

You may remember I mentioned in my post ‘Fingers Crossed‘, as we were leaving the house we waved at the realtor and clients.  The nice younger couple with their young daughter smiled and waved back.

With the offer to buy our home; also was a letter from these potential new owners.  The letter introduced this young family of 5.  A dad and mom, and a young daughter and twin baby boys.  The letter included a brief history of the family and the reasons this family is interested in our home.  The end of the letter concluded with the following –

The moment we walked through the doors, it felt like home, and we would love to make it ours if you accept our offer.

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In my post ‘Home For Sale‘, I concluded with the following –

Now the waiting game takes place – when will the new owners walk through the front door for the first time?

And when the future owners first walk through the front door, who knows maybe they will respond with “This is it, this is the one!”

In today’s post, I conclude with the following –

Their offer was accepted!

Are we there yet?

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I feel like I am on a journey to ‘The Kingdom of Far, Far Away’.

In my post ‘The planning continues‘, I wrote the following –

There is still a house to sell and possessions to rid of and other activities that must be dealt with before the travel begins.  Gary and I are ready to begin, but other activities must first take place before hand.  The truck is bought and an RV has been picked out.  We are waiting to purchase the RV until the house is sold.

As we continue to plan, I will keep you posted on the progress.

In my post ‘show-ready‘, I wrote the following –

The additional activities that will take place once a solid offer is in place and the results of my next Dr. F. visit are on hold until the time comes.  In the meantime, we continue to clean windows, dust furniture, wipe countertops, pickup leaves from the yard and wait for that next call and the next showing.

In today’s post, I write the following –

We have made plans as to where we would like to travel to, the locations & stops and the amount of time for each location.  These plans will change as at this point in time we do not have a date when the travel adventure will start.  I am holding off on revealing the travel plans with you at this time because, they will change and I want to make sure we have concrete plans before revealing to you.  Upon receiving an offer on the house and depending on the results of my doctor visit; we then will finalize our plans.

Stay tuned my friends and be patient as I have enough frustration for all of us.

I am like a child (or donkey) sitting in the backseat and continually asking the question “Are we there yet?”

I respond to myself “The Kingdom of Far, Far Away, that’s where we are going – far, far away!”

The journey is partially planned, but yet to start.

And in the meantime Gary and I continue to have the house ‘show-ready’ and remain optimistic.

Are we there yet?