When I worry, I plan, and then I worry some more
I have been very worried the last couple of weeks. It is almost to the level of pre-occupation. I am feeling more energy, and generally feeling better than I have since the beginning of chemotherapy. I’m pretty certain my blood levels have returned to normal. But I am worried. With every ache or pain, I worry – has it come back? I try to dismiss it as ‘normal’ but in reality, it is perhaps not normal. The worry may be a little too much. Fortunately, I see my oncologist next week, and will find out if my worry is for naught.
When I worry about the future, I start to plan things. On a chance, I looked up whether or not I could use points to fly to Ottawa in May and also make a visit to Vancouver on the same trip. Aeroplan being on my side for once, indeed I could. So, I made plans. I booked the flight. Almost a year to the day, I’ll be back in Ottawa for just under a week. It coincides with the Canadian Unitarian Council’s Annual Conference and Meeting, which means that I’ll be able to see my Unitarian friends from across Canada. The trip was made that much easier by another friend who offered me her guest room for the duration of my trip (even though she isn’t in town when I arrive). How awesome is that.
I also found out yesterday that I have been accepted for the Casting for Recovery weekend fly fishing retreat in April. I LOVE fishing, but I’ve never done fly fishing. I’ve also never done catch-and-release fishing – I’ve always fished for food. So, this is a unique experience that also is an ethical dilemma for me.
Passing my feeds today is a New York Times article by Oliver Sacks learning that he has terminal cancer. Friends have commented that it is sad and yet he is brave. In my mind, I can only say that he is lucky to have lived to 80. Too many of the young women in my world are in their 40s and have metastatic breast cancer. They have been given the terminal diagnosis in their early 40s. It is for them that I am sad, not for someone who has lived a good life of 80 years. Heck, he may have terminal cancer and still die from something else!
Today, we head up to UCSF so that I can participate in part 1 of a neuropathy study. This part is seeking to better describe chemotherapy (taxane specific) induced neuropathy, and to see if there are any genetic markers that would help predict who does and does not get neuropathy. After that, it is my semi-weekly visit to the Advanced Wound Care Center. My belly wound is about 1/2 the size it was when I had the Snap installed a week ago. Unfortunately, the adhesives caused blistering on my skin and I had to remove it Tuesday night. Upon removing it, I noticed a not so pleasant smell – which seems to be coming from the wound. I’ve been packing it with Aquacel Ag (a special antimicrobial absorbent packing material with silver in it). I’ll find out today what the next steps are – hopefully something that will continue to help it heal. Surgery to fix it is booked for March 17th.
So, I’m worried about cancer coming back. I’m worried about infection in my wounds. But, I’m being adequately distracted with the visit to UCSF and other things to keep me busy.