1) I feel like an olympic athlete today compared to how I felt on Sunday - you know, in one of the less physical events, like curling or something.
2) Beverly, one of my wonderful nurses, thinks my pain medication might have been responsible for the nausea and vomiting more than the chemo regimen. We are going to do some adjusting to cover both possibilities so that hopefully it won't happen again.
3) I was able to eat quite a bit more yesterday afternoon and evening and have already had substantial nourishment today, as well.
4) I even went for a walk yesterday evening.
5) My PET scan revealed no surprises where the tongue and neck are concerned. It did show a 1.2 cm lymph node in the lungs that might or might not be cancerous. If it is smaller on my next scan, it will be considered cancerous. If it is the same size, it will be considered insignificant. Even if it were known to be cancerous now, it would not alter my treatment plan. The abdomen and pelvis were clear.
6) Still not talking due to the pain, but some of you might consider that a positive.
On to more important matters ...
*** Before reading this section, please understand that I do not think I am going to die - just trying to make a point!
People with life-threatening illnesses are so annoying, aren't they? I mean, just because there is a chance they could die, they all of sudden think they know everything about how everyone else should live! What a drag. Of course, they aren't the only ones preaching. Even people who aren't dying now and have never done so are telling us how we should live. Everywhere we turn - young, old, sick or well - someone is telling us to live like we're dying.
What does that mean exactly? Just what does it look like to live like you're dying? Does it really mean "Rocky Mountain climbing and skydiving?" (I like the song, too - just bear with me.) Does it mean finally going on that big trip you've always dreamed of, but thought you couldn't afford? Does it mean bungee jumping? Does it mean quitting your job and starting that business of your own? Does living like you're dying just mean doing big crazy things that you probably wouldn't do if you were going to go on living? Perhaps that is part of what it means, but I would say it's only a very small part.
(This is the part where the person with the life-threatening illness steps up to the podium pontificating till heart's content, and his audience, though probably annoyed, politely listens because there is a chance he could die and that somehow qualifies him as an instant sage.)
Think about your life. Does it really happen in the big things? I mean, how many moments are taken up by big, spectacular events? Not that many, right? Right. That's because life isn't about the big things. Life happens in the little things. That brings us back to our question. What does it mean to live like you're dying? I think it means savoring the little things. Little things like ...
waking up warm, O.J. and toast, making someone laugh, laughing at yourself, driving to work, getting home safely, talking to someone who really listens, listening to someone who really needs to talk, going for a run, napping when it rains, taking a hot shower, listening to your favorite song, ice cream cones ...
the list could go on forever, but I'll stop there. Some of my more jaded friends are way past nauseated by now. Hear me out, though. Lists of little things like these create the real substance of our lives. Real life isn't found in just-before-death adventures. Real life is found in real life. So, if we are going to live like we're dying, we need to learn to savor the little things that make our real lives so sweet.
You might be thinking I have a point, but you're probably also thinking that no one can maintain such a grounded perspective all the time. Would it hurt to try?
"Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." -Ephesians 5:19-20