Thursday, December 29, 2011

Let it snow

Well with the new year coming soon, thought I would write a bit about the last year.

Funny someone the other day commented on wishing us a happy new year, saying after the difficult year we have had.

I thought, now why would they say that?, we have had a great year. It has been tumultuous and with many stressors, but all and all a great year.

I guess compared to the previous years, that is.

Last New Years eve I was determined to stay up until midnite to make absolutely certain that the year was OVER, totally OVER. Oddly enough, things changed after that.

The whole move back here was hard, but as expectedly so. I guess we have gotten through this year with a goal, of a life that was as stress-free as possible. A life that we can be doing the things that we like to do the most. And I do think we are getting closer all the time.

Our kids are doing well, Dylan, the plumber who was in accident in September is still in a cast and it has been very trying to keep him getting to his doctors appointments despite him being screwed around by the clinics, being sent to the wrong places etc etc etc. He gets so mad at the system he does not want to go to the doctor at all, however he has a very fragile fracture that can lead to chronic wrist pain if it does not heal properly. From all we can tell, this ordeal should be over soon and we can stop humouring him.

Josh is into his third year of university in the humanities, sociology, psychology anthropology political scienc etc. It was hard to explain to him why the whole family might not want to watch the movie about the final year of Tolstoys life... He is extremely well read on politics, and Ken and I have a lot of fun talking with him, but the conversations would not be the type many others might engage in.

He came home this term with questions about what he needed to get a social work degree. WE looked it all up and he has almost all the credits he need to apply for the fall, and the grades look in keeping with what he has, so it appears that at long last he has direction. Everything we read about social work seemed to be JOSH..... a job with his name written all over it. THere even seemed to be jobs out there in this field. So we are excited and more importantly HE Is excited.

We have taken up snowshoing this year, and I have included a photo from a few weeks ago. The guy who has built our house, with his wife, have taken us UP to the snow. We drive up in a 4 seater, 4 wheeler to an area of higher elevation and more snow. It is great fun.

I am getting closer to the 3 year mark for my cancer, closer to the “beat it” stage. Hard to know if it is ever safe to tempt fate by using those terms..... like “beat it” or Survivor”.

I have been feeling pretty cocky for quite awhile, and recently was doing some research for a woman in India with the same cancer.

She posted several questions on line and I wanted to get her the newest information, and since I am a doctor, I have access to complete studies for free.

Turns out that some things have changed with regards to prognosis and cancer. They have looked in the past at status of lymph nodes as a prognostic indicator, and if the cancer has spread to them it means the risk of recurrence is higher. There is something else that has recently gained a lot of attention with regards to several cancers, including prostate, cervix and endometrial cancer, and that is Lymphovascular invasion.

Lymphovascular space invasion (LSVI) denotes a worse prognosis, and thus warrants more aggressive treatments. what this means is that the cancer has invaded the lymph system, and/or blood vessels of the organ of origin, in my case the uterus.

Why is this important? Well I guess it underlines how important the aggressive treatment was and I find it kind of scary, wondering some days if I really have beat it, and when I CAN say I have beaten it, BUT anyways, I am still having the pain after meals, guess I always will, it seems to be a lot worse lately.

I am not really worried, but I am not totally unworried, if that is a word.

Ken and I have been working hard to get the clinic so that it is running seamlessly. There has been a lot of extra work involved, but it IS going great. We have incredible staff that we just love working with, a real team. We are getting further and further from the politics.... well sort of.

I recently had an interview in a newspaper (the closest city to us), essentially telling “our” side of the story on how we left Interior Health, and I have also convinced another doctor who has left to tell them HIS story, so that the public can see that the doctors are leaving, not because of “personal reasons” as interior health tells everyone, but that Interior health is really driving the doctors away from Chase.

Hard to be totally out of politics.

I have also found out some very cool news, that all US citizens no matter where they are, can vote in the US elections. You just have to sign up. Ken and I became US citizens about 3 years ago. SO I feel very special, being able to have a say in the election of a country whose political policies affect the entire world, yet only US citizens can vote for who leads this world power.

The other really interesting tidbit..... What act can cause you to LOOSE your US citizenship???

To join the military of another country.

I am throwing around ideas for how to spend the third anniversary of the cancer, and the latest idea is to fly to New York and have a day “in the studio” with Ben Wisch, the producer of my last cd, and record my new song “It is so hard to be a good dog”

And then send it out as a single. WOOF WOOF.

Speaking of dogs, Rex is now over 15 years old. he gets around and does not seem to be suffering, but he is dribbling urine all the time though.

So we have gotten him a doggy diaper, essentially a cloth diaper that we wrap around him with a “kotex” in the appropriate place to catch the urine...

Just thought I would put that out there in case anyone else ends up in a similar situation :)

Happy New Years, and love to everyone.