Saturday, November 28, 2009

November 28, 2009 - Passing the 500 Milestone

Yesterday, as I posted my most recent blog entry, I passed a milestone. It was my 500th blog entry.

It’s hard to believe. In the 4 years or so since I’ve been writing this blog, chronicling my experience as a cancer survivor, I’ve somehow found that much to say.

Early on, the blog was all about giving a blow-by-blow account of my medical treatments. Later, as I went into, then out of, remission, then entered the extended period of watchful waiting I’m presently in, I’ve had less to share about my medical condition. That’s a good thing, because no news is good news. I’ve naturally moved over into commenting on some other topics I now look on differently because I’m a cancer survivor – particularly the healthcare-funding debate in this country, and general survivorship issues.

I’d like to thank you, my readers, for hanging in there with me through all this. I plan to continue posting here as long as folks are finding the blog helpful to their own life journeys. Please do use the “Comments” feature to let me know what you’re thinking about my postings. I’m still getting 50-60 visitors a day, so I figure I must still be addressing some real needs.

Grace and peace and life abundant to all.


Friday, November 27, 2009

November 27, 2009 - Thanksgiving Flu

“Flu-like symp- toms.” That’s what I’ve got – as is only appro- priate, since what I’ve got does, in fact, seem to be the flu.

I was down and out all day yesterday, Thanksgiving Day. We had a houseful of friends and relatives, but I remained sequestered upstairs, in our bedroom, tracing with my shuffling feet a well-beaten path to the bathroom.

I’d thought I might don a breathing mask and venture downstairs briefly to greet our guests (the mask would have been for their protection, not mine). I didn’t feel up to even that.

“Flu-like symptoms” is how doctors often describe the side-effects of chemotherapy. I realize, now, how apropos that is. The queasiness, the weakness, the muscle aches – it’s all come back to me. It’s like I was right in the middle of chemo again (except for the hair loss, of course, and the metallic taste in the back of my mouth).

Since concluding my chemo in May of 2006, I’ve been pretty healthy. I’ve been lucky enough to avoid the flu for quite a number of years. This year, I got an H1N1 vaccination (the lymphoma qualifies me for the high-risk group), but I procrastinated on getting the seasonal flu vaccination. By the time I got serious about it, the vaccine was no longer available. Maybe what I’ve got now is the seasonal flu, or maybe it’s H1N1 despite the vaccination, but it really doesn’t matter. It’s the flu, and that’s all I need to know.

I suppose that, in describing chemo side-effects as similar to flu symptoms, the doctors are trying to put patients at ease. Most everyone’s had the flu at one time or another, and most everyone gets over it. I’d quite forgotten, though, how nasty the flu can be.

I’m on about Day 3 at the moment, so I’m sure I’ll be feeling better in another couple days. It’s been a little blast from the past, taking me back to my chemo days, and that’s just a little unnerving.

This, too, shall pass.