August 28, 2006

Four year anniversary

On Sunday, August 20, 2006 I celebrated four years of living with advanced breast cancer.

Talk about beating the odds! I have been stable on aromatase inhibitors with occasional bouts of radiation the entire time. NO CHEMO YET! My quality of life has been pretty good too. This seems incredible to me.

Highlights of the past 4 years --

- Broken bones are all healed and I can even dance on stage and sing in a choir.

- Travelled to Paris, Israel, Japan, Toronto and Palm Desert, as well as multiple family visits to NJ and Montreal.

- Got a dog, trained to be a service animal, and drag him everywhere.

- Bought our first house and just put in a new counter top, sink and faucet in the kitchen.

In retrospect, I have been very lucky in that my bone mets have responded well to treatment.

But --

- Mets cheated us completely out of children.

- Cancer forced me to retire from my career as a fundraiser at age 42.

- I went into full menopause at that ridiculously early age and quality of life suffers as a result.

Today I am alert, able and active. This isn't the life I thought I'd have, but it's the one I got and I intend to live it!

Back on line

Had some trouble with the log in but now seem to be back on line. Computers!

We had a lovely weekend with my family in NJ. It was nonstop running to doctors, eating out, visiting with family, etc. Everything is made more complicated by the fact that my dad uses a walker, and getting to and fro can be challenging. We managed to squeeze in a movie and that was a real treat, especially for my folks.

You would not believe how people don't seem to see a man using a walker in a crowded place! Thankfully my sister did a great job of "spotting." We were all so keyed up afterwards that we had to eat soft serve ice cream, locally known as custard. Yummy.

It was a good visit all around and we are glad to have gone, glad to be home.

August 09, 2006

Quick and dirty update

Haven't posted since July because, well, life got in the way. So here's the quick and dirty --

Finished the dental work (finally!)

Weeded the garden, over and over again. Just a few green tomatoes on the vine.

Took on two more volunteer projects: the installation of our synagogue's new rabbi and a Seattle yoga event for people with cancer.

Saw friends perform in Gilbert & Sullivan's "The Pirates of Penzance" and repressed the urge to sing along

Had a bunch of kitchen work done (pull out trays for pots and pans, thanks to Peter!; new countertop, faucet & sink; new refrigerator)

Ordered fabulous tiles from Jerusalem Pottery in Israel, which arrived in 5 days despite the situation there

Had my first zometa treatment at my doctor's office instead of the hospital where I have been treated since 1999 (long story, more later)

Went to another funeral of a friend from my days in the AIDS world

Spent 4 days at the beach, which next year will grow to 5 days. Good friends went with us and our dogs loved running in the sand and surf.

And of course, spent a few days glued to the tube when a mad gunman opened fire at the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle, murdering one woman and injuring four more. For details read the JT News.

It's been a long month!

We go back to New Jersey next week to see my folks. Dad has had several falls and his recovery has been set back. Rik is beginning to think about the new school year beginning August 28th.

More soon, I hope --