Monday, December 31, 2012

Another Year

10 more hours and then that's 2012 over and done with, and what a year it's been.  What a year, indeed.

The world miraculously did not end, despite the prophecies of an ancient civilization and some tortured arithmetic that seemed suspiciously influenced by chemistry, if you catch my meaning.  So that was nice, though I do admit there is a certain allure to seeing how this story of us draws to a close.  Call it human nature.  We are storytellers by instinct, and all good stories have an ending, and a happy ending is not always the best.

I continue to recover from my chemotherapy.  I still feel fatigued but I don't have the random pains I used to get, or nearly so much fuzziness.  I feel creative and productive more often.  Still not as much as I'd like, but I'm not done healing just yet.  One weird thing; the other day I didn't sleep, by which I do not mean, "I slept 4 hours," or, "I slept 2 hours," but rather I did not sleep at all.  I'm not really sure why not.  I was comfortable.  I wasn't particularly stressed.  I tried to sleep for about 7 hours.  It just didn't come together for me.  I still went to work and actually felt pretty normal, if not a little unfocused.  The next night I slept fine, and the next.  Maybe it was just an anomaly.

In two weeks I have an appointment with Dr. C., where he will draw my blood and see how my recovery's coming along.  I don't expect any surprises at that appointment, as even if there's been a change he wouldn't have any way to know from a blood test alone.  I need to schedule an MRI.  An MRI, and then another, and another, and another.  I wonder how many my health insurance will cover each year.  I know that most doctors prefer to start spacing the MRIs out over time if there's no progression, but I don't really mind the process anymore.  I lie down, I get a needle in the arm, and I relax for 45 minutes.  I'd rather put up with that every two months than switch to a 6-month schedule and let a recurrence go unchecked needlessly for four months.

That's another thing I can't quite get out of my head, so to speak.  Every time I feel a bit under the weather, or god forbid have a headache, I wonder, is this it?  Has my cancer come back?  There have been times I've gone into an MRI certain that I'd soon receive bad news, only to hear the same thing I've heard after every MRI: looking good, no progression, see you in two months.

I find myself missing those weeks right around my surgery, when I was on steroids.  I felt energetic and rested, for the first time in so very long.  I still wonder if that's what it's like to be normal.  If everyone else has that refreshed, vital feeling with little more than an 8-hour sleep.  But I can't start taking them again.  I know how dangerous steroids can be, and even at the time I stopped taking them as soon as my doctor gave me the go-ahead.  Still, I can't help but wonder what I could have done with my life, had I never had cancer.  What could I have accomplished with all of that energy?  How many days have I wasted at home, due to fatigue or lack of motivation?

I'd like to make some sort of new year's resolution at this point but I have no idea what 2013 will bring.  Maybe that's the point, and maybe it's why so few people actually keep their resolutions.  No one ever knows what the future holds.  So maybe I'll start small.  Maybe I'll resolve to take more opportunities as they present themselves.  More risks.  Anything to start breaking down that bad habit of irrational caution that has held me back, a remnant from the person I used to be, with the sickness I used to have.

And in case those two paragraphs came suspiciously close together, this doesn't mean I'm going to start popping steroids.  I was thinking more along the lines of going to parties and social events.  Heading to a New Year's party tonight, actually. 

So I guess that's it for 2012.  Got to say it beat the hell out of 2011, but that's kind of a low bar.  Here's to love, luck and life in 2013, for all of us.

See you next year, folks.


  1. Hello sir. Its taken me a long time to pluck up the courage to respond to the countless brain tumor blogs and forums I have read I dont know why but I have identified with you a great deal im just now three months post op for oligoastrocytoma II had mri today and im scared to death just wanted to say thank you for keeping up this blog

    1. I'm glad you did, Oz. I've responded to your e-mail, and I'm glad to hear you've taken comfort in my experiences.