Lots of updates – missing dates – Lori’s memorial – getting back to the gym

By | Tue November 20, 2018

For the first couple of years, every one of my treatment milestones was something I looked back on. I know the dates, but now I don’t necessarily recognize them. Had Facebook not shown me a menu from Stanford Hospital I would have forgotten that on November 19, 2014 I had my first cancer surgery. That was the last day I felt my nipples :-(. I still miss them, but have grown into my new body quite nicely.

I don’t consider November 19 my cancer free day because the surgery didn’t remove all my cancer. It got some of it, but not all of it. We knew that was likely to happen and were not worried because we had the big surgery planned for December 17 – December 17 is my cancer free day. It is the day I recognize as my first day of remission.

Got back to the gym yesterday for the first time in a long time. It felt good to do some aerobic activity. I even managed a short swim – the air quality wasn’t great, but it wasn’t so bad that they had close the pool – which they did several days last weed and over the weekend.

The air quality was certainly an issue at Lori’s memorial. For those in the UK, you can watch the documentary that she was in at:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0bshjrp/louis-theroux-altered-states-2-choosing-death

I haven’t yet figured out how to view it in the US online. We had a special screening of the documentary as part of Lori’s Celebration of Life. I knew that they had put something in memory of Lori at the end, and yet, that last screen with her picture and the date – October 20, 2018 – brought everyone in the audience to tears. She did a great job of explaining the complexities around her decision, and how having some sense of control helped her. In the end, she died naturally, without using the medications. But she was comforted knowing that if she needed the meds, she had access to them.

A lot of people asked me how I’m doing. It is an odd thing. I am doing OK. I think that had I not had the opportunity to practice grieving at Commonweal, and to really spend quality time with Lori near the end of her life, it might be different. But it isn’t. I know that the last couple of months were difficult for her, and yet she managed a couple of outings with her boys, which was the way she wanted to end her life. She used every breath she had to live and to love. I miss her dearly, but I’m OK.

What is getting to me more than grieving is the horrible air quality from the fires. Behind stuck indoors most of the time is driving me crazy. I’m glad that we have good air quality inside the house, but I’d really like to be spending more time outside. We are expecting rain on Wednesday and Friday (finally), which should help clean the air and fight the fires. Because many of the fires where on steep hillsides, the next danger will be landslides. If it isn’t one this it is another.

On nice days we love California, especially this time of year. On smokey days, we find ourselves wishing for slushy wet snow and the smell of moldy leaves …

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