The Race Continues…

Big Sur Summer 2013

What a wonderful road trip to Monterey. I bet you are wondering how I can have such a positive outlook after several boulder rocks hit our windshield on the 5 fwy enroute to Monterey. The windshield protected me from a massive head injury, so a big thanks goes to the damaged windshield. It did seem odd that this would happen to us. Even stranger was the candid camera moments that happened after check in. Had anyone checked this room after the last guest checked out? The screen door was ripped as if someone walked through it and the air condition was broken and spewed hot air so that the temp was over 85 in our room. Oh, we also could not get foam pillows and I’m horribly allergic to feathers. After engineer after engineer checked the air condition and fixed and fixed again, it was determined to be broken. Only after approaching midnight did I begin to cry a bit and then decide to just pass out with my wig on. Jim and the engineer continued to work on the air condition while I slept. Who knew what time Jim told me to take my wig off and I responded by telling him I needed a hat. I do wonder at these moments that why doesn’t this happen to someone else. Jim and I do battle every day with my cancer survival, so why did we need to do battle over a room which should come with normal functionality.

We managed to have a great time visiting the Monterey aquarium, driving to Big Sur, eating at a poisonous restaurant, seeing Hearst castle, eating in Cambria, driving 17 mile drive, eating in Carmel (along with brief shopping in Carmel), eating in Monterey’s fisherman’s wharf, and driving back home. There is something to be said for trapping your tween in a car. Alex managed to hear about my growing up, learning French,my travels with my parents and sister, and some other fun tales. This prompted Alex to want to learn French, but I think he was motivated by our recent visit from my club med dear friends. (it was just like we saw each other yesterday! the best kind of friendship!) Alex has such a great ear for music that language seems to be easy. It also comes in handy for timeshare sales people or other people selling things you don’t want, you just respond with some French phrases and people get very confused.
With all this time, my husband rock star realized that the window is growing smaller to change my dose of chemo. Of course, without this constant planning and thinking, it would have been a problem since my tumor marker is on the rise. With the double dose, the double the side effects make me cranky and nauseous. The whole thing is frustrating and annoying especially when my rock star realizes that Monday is a holiday and why would I want to continue with double the dose if the double “shot” wasn’t working. We go into overdrive and make immediate plans. Tuesday I make a blood draw appointment which precedes Weds chemo. Then, we start with our hypothetical plan: if the number is higher plan A then we need a plan B and if number is the same or lower, we have a plan. It is all confusing, but the window is so small to prevent the cancer taking off again. I would rather be ahead of the plan, but it always seems that we are chasing the plan. Higher or lower, it is all a bit scary.  I was just hoping lower so that I have more time on this treatment. Each time I use up an option, it makes the race a bit scarier. I do have some options to try and now lucky to juggle the possibility for the trial. The trial takes 2 more weeks to get the tissue result back and now with the holiday, my 2 weeks seem to be longer. This is all one big juggle and one big game of chemo roulette. I was never much of a gambler until now. You have to make some educated guesses based on what we do know and lessons learned. You can never “play it safe” when it comes to cancer. You can never put your life in someone else’s hands (after all it is YOUR life).  You cannot just watch things happen, you have to be part of the plan. If we didn’t take things into our own hands, then I would have been in another state of crisis with the tumor marker rising faster than the drug is killing the cancer. Right now, the drug is still trying to work, but is having difficulty. It is the little engine that could. I think I can, I think I can. I know I can. I know this is what I have to do. It is just annoying that when you have moments of freedom from the cancer job, they fly by. The message is clear as I always say, “Seize the day, live in the now”. There is only TODAY. I am constantly reminded of that, so I really value the few moments between all the cancer crap. I do think of tomorrow and I do make plans for things to look forward to. I have to do that because if I get caught up in the monotony of the chemo cancer routine, it is a bit overwhelming. There is a delicate balance. When walking the tightrope of living with cancer, you have to find the balance and enjoy the day. I am trying even though I am in chemo land full of nausea and cloudiness. Double the dose equals double the “fun”. Enjoy the last days of summer and find your moments. I know you will be happy you did!

One Response to “The Race Continues…”

  1. Diane Peters Says:

    Joanie…praying numbers came down and chemo goes smoothly tomorrow!! NEGU my friend!! Love you!

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