Sunday, November 21, 2010

DAY 1048 - Day 806 in Recovery Paradise

2008 radiation start
2010 2 1/2 years later
Wow...over 1000 days since this long strange trip began.  My throat has been sore again for a couple of days in the same spot where it all began.  I can't help but go to the dark evil place my mind creates when this happens.  Lise says it is because I sleep with my mouth open and I will have a raw spot where the cancer was, forever.  When this happened two years ago, it seemed so innocuous, but turned out to be anything but that.  Maybe my doctor will forbid me to talk...ha.

Thanksgiving coming next week.  Holidays, in  particular have special meaning on the bright side of the dark chasm of a Cancer diagnosis.  I remember 2 years ago, hoping to have my first solid food in many months.  I still had the feeding tube in and felt like I had a walk-on part in the "Alien" movie series. I had graduated from water to nothing to feeding tube to soup.  I actually had turkey and mashed potatoes (with lots of gravy) on the 2008 holiday.  There was some serious "thanks" giving going on that day.

Family tradition dinners are getting smaller.  My three sons are grown men now with their own families and obligations.  They have discovered the joys of solid employment and will probably have to work that day.  My oldest and his family are in Idaho with snow up to there - forecast for Thanksgiving Day with the other two enjoying the blessings of employment with heavy work schedules through the holidays.

The newest addition to the Welton clan will be joining us in a bit over a week new bun-still-in-the-oven grandson (lovingly referred to at this point as "skittle bean")...I can see that moniker lasting for a long time....will be here in about ten days.

For the most part, I feel good, glad to be here.

“Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift."

Song of the Day:  "My Best Days are Still Ahead of Me"  Danny Gokey

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

DAY 944 - Day 794 in Recovery Paradise

 Two years ago today, I was still recovering from my chemo and radiation with a feeding tube to deal with.  We had driven to "Apple Hill", an area about 45 minutes away in the foothills dotted with beautiful apple farms.  It had and has been an annual trek in the early fall to see the color changes in the leaves, check out the craft booths and pick apples.

An excerpt from my blog on that day was:  "They were giving away apple slice samples at one of the stops. Without thinking, I accepted and popped one in my mouth and started chewing, not realizing that I couldn't do it. Miracle! I was able to eat it. I ended up eating two more entire apples. It's the first solid food I've had in three months." 

Tonight, I fixed stewed chicken and and garlic mashed potatoes with a big green salad with lime juice and Asian chili sauce dressing.  No way I could have had that two years ago.  Good progress.  Still have dry mouth and need lots of liquids...just may be a permanent thing.

I participate in an international on-line forum for tonsil cancer people (what is the proper word here: "patients", ":sufferers", "survivors", "D - all of the above?")  Two of our long time members have noted that cancer has come back more aggressively and in virtually untreatable areas- brain and lungs.  It is sad to see strong people beaten down, that rise up, only to be beaten down again. 

I am now re-purposed again as a result of reading their stories.  I am motivated to make a few more marks in my tiny portion of the universe while I can.  Last night, I enjoyed watching old VHS movies of my sons (now 26, 25, 23) when they were 1, 2, and 4.  Then I pulled out old 8mm tapes of my daughter (now 12) when she was 8 months old.  Great memories.  Now fixated on converting them all to DVD (soon to be replaced by ???) for posterity and an enduring legacy.

My oldest son now has a 3 year old son and another one soon to arrive.  We are getting Ian and Jen a new video camera to start a new generation of recorded memories.

"Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved." - Winston Churchill