Friday night I had a good chat with a friend of mine that went through cancer last year. It really is nice to be able to talk to people who have been through a similar experience. The one thing I'm starting to realize is that no one gets through this experience unchanged. It can change family relationships, it can change your own worldview and very frequently it can change your body. Surgery, radiation, chemotherapy can all be part of the mix based on what specific type of illness you have. In many cases your body is never the same. Sometimes you have to lose parts of your body to get back to health, sometimes you have to accept treatments that themselves bring risk of future illness. It's all a pretty tough road and it's really great to talk to folks that have gone through it and come out the other side.
On Saturday I got a nice care package from Susan's aunt. Helene is 89 years old and one of the things she does is crochet prayer shawls for people that are going through hardship in their lives. She sent me a prayer shawl that she hand made and it was really amazing to get such a personal piece of love and caring from a pretty distant relative. I draped it over my legs last night while watching a movie at home and could definitely feel the loving energy. I never thought that I would look good in a lavender, crocheted shawl but the universe is always full of surprises, I guess :)
Today Susan and I got out for another nice weekend ride. 26.5 miles from our house over to Eldo then through South Boulder and East Boulder on bike paths and then back up Baseline and South Boulder road back to the L-town casa. We've both signed up for the Copper Triangle (82 miles, 6500 vertical feet in one day of riding in early August). I suspect I may be on the support team this year given that I'll still be doing my chemo then. But whether I ride it or just support Susan I hope to be able to get in some good training rides with her this spring. It was really a beautiful day and it was so nice to be out on the bike enjoying the day and seeing everyone else out on the road. We ran into a nice family from Belgium and helped point them to some good trails in South Boulder. Told them that our son was in Eindhoven which instantly created a bit of a bond between us.
Here's a picture of the Baseline Reservoir from our ride today:
And one of Susan on the ride:
Tomorrow the weather is supposed to be pretty nice so I think I'll ride my bike to chemo and meet Susan there. Kind of symbolic I know but I like the idea of making the statement that I'm going to try and keep my lifestyle as close to normal as I can through this experience.
Finally, a quick update on Peter the Power Port. The incision is healing up nicely and the port itself is looking good. No sign of infection and the skin around the site is looking good. I do feel like I've got a bit of a man boob now and Susan and I were joking that maybe I should get a one cup bra to support my new little friend. What's a cup size < A cup? Do they go in reverse size for A cups (i.e. more letters = a smaller cup size? ) So I would need a single cup bra in size AAAA. I haven't tried any push-ups yet and I do some feel general soreness in my left upper chest but no pain to speak of. I took 2 Advil before I went to bed on Friday night but no pain meds since. So I think Pete is set to go - tomorrow he starts to earn his keep and will hopefully route all these nasty drugs directly into my superior vena cava and save the rest of my veinous system from any abuse.
I've also gotten a couple of nice texts from folks this evening getting me psyched for the start of chemo tomorrow. Through all of this I feel like I'm building up a huge karmic debt to all my friends and family. Let me just put out a blanket statement now that if any of you guys have the bad luck to go through something like this in the future, please feel free to ask me for support. I'll get healthy this spring and summer and then be open for business as cancer survivor support guy for anyone who needs it...