I’m still figuring out how to blog about my personal life. Writing for my PR blog seemed easier in a way. Those posts were always subject focused, advice-driven, and ended with a “take action” goal. Sometimes I feel like my personal blog needs to be the same - it should cover a mindblowing topic or be rich with personal reflection.
I’m working on realizing that not every blog post I write needs to be a masterpiece of living with cancer.
And so, when there’s no cause for concern regarding symptoms or side effects, most days in between are normal. Living with cancer isn’t always terrifying drama. Some days there’s not much going on and I get to lead an ordinary life. These are the days I forget I have an incurable disease.
What does one write about when things are going well? The usual and everyday stuff I guess. I’ve been feeling well and engaged in lots of great things, and that’s what I’ll share in this post.
But before I get there, I’ve got some uncanny news.
On Wednesday I had my Oncology appointment where I learned that my tumour markers (measuring cancer in my bloodwork) are rising. They’ve been steadily going up over last three months. This isn’t good. It can reflect progression - that my current treatment regime isn’t working.
Are you kidding me? On Tuesday I was writing, “Hey everyone, things are going really well…” And come Wednesday it’s all, “Um hold on a minute, maybe they’re not after all.”
This is living with cancer. At any moment, when things are going well, you can be met with bad news that can flip your world upside down.
My next scans will be April 9 with my results appointment the day after. Until then I’m holding fast to something my previous Oncologist said. There are three factors they look at 1) Tumor markers 2) How the patient is feeling 3) Scan results. So far only the first of those three is an issue.
All I can do is be in the moment and stay with what I know to be true. What do I know to be true? That my tumour markers are slowly rising, but I haven’t had scans yet. And most important, I currently feel great. I’m enjoying life.
Okay, with that out of the way I’m moving on now to the initial focus of this post…
Here’s a list of good things in my life right now:
- As is tradition, I watched the Oscars with my friend Jay. This year his girlfriend joined and it was a fab night. I love the Oscars and make a point to see most of the films. Over the last few months, I’ve seen Darkest Hour, Breadwinner, Dunkirk, The Shape of Water, I Tonya, Blade Runner 2049, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri, and Ladybird. And one of my fav films of the year - Florida Project, which wasn't nominated for any awards besides Best Supporting Actor (Willem Dafoe).
- Spring cleaning is happening early and it feels damn good. This week I cleaned out my office desk and shelves. If I’m not working anymore I don’t want to constantly see reminders of what once was: I want to make room for new things. I packed away business books, client papers and albums, printouts from training courses, and notes on how to run my new website. I recycled papers - some I read and reflected on and others I got rid of quickly because I knew remembering would be painful. I tore pages from my Moleskine notebook - my 2017 daily to-do lists. I only used a quarter of the pages, so I removed them to start fresh with daily personal to-do lists. It was difficult, but it’s done. I’m looking forward to more purging and pruning.
- I’m focused on getting in shape for a trip to Orlando at the end of this month. Throughout the week I’m spending my days at the gym for cardio, in strength classes with my trainer who specializes in breast cancer recovery, and back at the studio for restorative yoga.
- There’s no shortage of ways to be entertained.
- I’ve never been a gamer, but buying a Nintendo Switch is one of the best things I’ve done recently. Seriously, it’s so much fun.
- The last week or so I’ve been feeling tired in the evening and fluff tv was required, thank you Sex & The City for always being there for that. I’m excited to finally start Dark on Netflix this weekend.
- I’m reading Stacy Schiff’s book The Witches: Salem, 1692 - a fascinating nonfiction that reads like fiction about Puritan life, history of witchcraft in England and New England, and the cast of characters involved in the Salem witch trials of 1692.
- My current obsession is with the Danish multi-instrumentalist, Myrkur. Blasting her music has definitely helped me deal with my rage the last few days. I’ve never been a huge metal fan, but I'm really identifying with her vocals, compositions, and the darkness of it all.
There it is - a glimpse of what I’ve been up to and in to.
Aside from the blip of receiving bad news on Wednesday, things are really good. You can trust I’m holding onto that until my Oncology appointment next month.
Thanks, as always, for reading.