Home = Healing

Marilyn and I spent 3 1/2 months in Seattle, 104 days to be exact. That is a long time away from home. We advanced through the adventure of the new environment and treatment to a sense, finally, of confinement. There were good days, bad days and a lot of just endured days. Now, at home, I look back on the experience with revulsion.

Blame the chemo. My therapy ruined my taste for water and salads. It also destroyed my appreciation for the delights of Seattle. The post-chemo associations dominate the memory bank. No matter how hard I try to rationalize this line of thought I revert to how I felt near the end of our stay.

Consequently, home is identified with healing. Friday the 26th, when we arrived, my spirits soared. I felt good physically. On the weekend, however, I relapsed. My stomach was upside down and sideways. Monday it righted itself and I rebounded. Today I am again stable.

I’ve walked everyday. Yesterday evening, Ike and I and his dogs went on a mile and a half loop. I

Ike and his crazy dogs, Bruce and Toby
Ike and his crazy dogs, Bruce and Toby

wobbled a bit on the slopes and the pace was slow. It is hard to accept how weak I’ve become.

Today I went to see my primary care physician in Hood River. The purpose was to inform him I’m back and vulnerable. I am below 165 lbs, having lost eight pounds in a week. Obviously, I am under nourished. Each day I work hard at eating and drinking. But I occasionally fail to meet the goals set for me in Seattle. I look forward to when my palate regains its curiosity.

Later this week, I meet with a new oncologist. During the spring I’d driven 20 miles to a doctor in The Dalles, OR. However, there is a Portland hematologist who attends cancer patients in Hood River once a week. For my first appointment, I will visit his office near Providence Hospital in the big city. Following that I will become part of his Hood River clientele. Again, keeping things close to home is suddenly very important.

So, to summarize, I don’t feel too peppy. My stomach continues its unpredictable ways. But, if I can avoid opportunistic infections, I should slowly regain strength.

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