Wednesday, April 04, 2007

An Unwanted Journey: Day 0497 - An Image for the Future

The CT scan looked almost exactly the same as the one taken in December. No swelling of the lymph nodes, no additional growth, no need for further biopsy sampling at this time. In fact, for the first time since any medical tests have been done in the past 18 months, I have no further testing scheduled. It's all about regular follow up protocols.

How great is that? Now all my energies need to be focused on recovery or, as Dr Craig Hildreth, aka the cheerful oncologist, puts it, I need to "go jump in the lake!" I need to forget about half-way measures, about dipping my toes in the water; instead, I need to dive right in. That's what the lifeguard is telling me to do.

Sure, to push the analogy a little further, I still have to know when to stop swimming and diving, get out of the water, eat, drink and get rested. But the point is to start living life to the full again. Take chances. Invest in the mundane, the everyday, the stuff of the ordinary, just as if it all never happened. That doesn't mean to forget, just to get back in the game to the very best of my ability.

One luxury I haven't indulged in during my fight against cancer is to imagine the future as if I was fully recovered. I know that some of the psychological techniques have recommended doing so as one way to activate the body's defenses against the cancer cells. But I am the kind of person who believes in evaluating as realistically as possible the pros and the cons and making sensible decisions based on the logistics of the situation. Now, I can honestly say that I have good, practical reasons to begin to dream - realistic reasons why I should be more indulgent about the future.

I want this. I want to think and visualize about the future, unfettered by the chains of cancer. Now is the time.

4 comments:

Bint Alshamsa said...

This is wonderful news, Don!! You deserve all of the happiness you can stand right now! I wish I was there to give you a big ol' hug right now. Isn't it great when you get to see that all of your hard work and endurance has paid off? Live it up, my friend! Life is worth enjoying.

Uber Angus said...

Well done sir. I am 8 months behind you on the rectal cancer recovery process. Thank you for your thoughtful and intelligent guide. Go jump in the lake I hope to be with you soon.
Please continue your thoughts on recovery. I believe you will have valuable insights for all of us taking the unwanted journey.

Anonymous said...

Hey Don - HUGE and HEARTY congratulations!!! Hope for the future now becomes anticipation of the future. The Unwanted Journey ends in a Wanted Destination. The 'Spencer 500' has been completed. Step out and enjoy the sun. Now..........I'm out of metaphors. Best wishes, Way West

Don Spencer said...

Bint, Uber Angus, and Way West - Thanks to each of you for writing. Bint and Uber - for you I hope your struggles against cancer have positive outcomes and that hope always remains your close companion. For Way West, you're the best. Thanks for all the metaphors, each and every one ;>)