“Sweet and Sour”

Hello all.  It’s been a while since I have blogged and, as usual, that is attributable to the fact that I have generally been feeling okay these last couple of weeks.  I have recovered from my pre-CT anxiety and continue to feel generally healthy (if not a bit overweight — not that I’m one to obsess about my weight!  Me?  Never! Of course, I spent 34 years getting into the shape I was in the picture below on the left, so it’s hard not to think of myself like that even though I look more like the picture below on the right these days).

As for the title of this post, well, this week I’ve gotten both good news and sad news (ABOUT OTHERS — Not me).  In the good news department, I spoke with my father today.  He has been going through physical therapy to help with his mobility issues and apparently they are working.  He told me that he did quite a bit of walking today and, while it was difficult, it represents a HUGE leap (pun intended) over where he was before the lumbar puncture.  He also said that his breathing is better.  I’m not sure if that is attributable to the LP or because of some advice from the PT about how to breath more efficiently; either way, cheers for my Dad!  Keep up the good work.

In the sad news, I found out a friend from the pancreatic support group lost her fight with PC.  If you will recall, I first mentioned Cindy back in February.  She was diagnosed with PC about a month before me and had her surgery in April of ’08 (I think).   Her surgery was successful: the cancer had not gotten into her lymph system and she had negative margins [Surgical margins: the evaluation by a pathologist of the edges of the tissue removed by the surgeon to determine if the tumor was removed completely ("negative margins") or if tumor was left behind ("positive margins")].

Unfortunately, at her 2-month follow-up visit (analogous to the one I just had in June), the doctors found new tumors.  They treated those tumors effectively, but when they did another CT scan, there were 8 additional tumors that had spread to several different organs.  Cindy received additional chemo (indeed, we ran into her and her husband on a recent trip to the Cancer center and she seemed in relatively good spirits, if not particularly happy with the effects of the chemo).  Her husband sent me an Email yesterday to let me know that Cindy had passed.

Beyond anything, Cindy’s passing simply served as a reminder that while I feel well, my situation remains “precarious.”  I am possibly one CT scan away from being in the same situation as Cindy.  Now I know that I am different from Cindy and her outcomes have nothing to do with mine.  BUT (to refer back to the metaphor I talked about MB describing), her passing merely highlights MY timebomb.  On top of that, Cindy’s surgery was “successful” (see above), whereas I had both positive margins AND infiltration of my lymph system.  I am not being fatalistic, I don’t think, but it’s hard not to relate Cindy’s situation to mine.

I wish Cindy’s husband, Steve, all the best and ask that you send him your support / prayers / positive energy as he adjusts to life without Cindy.

Merle