Anniversary and Bad News
First, happy anniversary to my life partner – Betsy. We were married here in the Adirondacks 39 years ago in a lovely garden wedding and went away in an old Garwood inboard boat. I confess, though, that Betsy was the one who remembered this morning.
We’re both pretty distracted by the bad news (which wasn’t unexpected) from the oncologist yesterday. Earlier in the week I had a chest/pelvis CT scan plus a bone scan and some x-rays thrown in for for good measure.
The sarcoma tumors are back and bigger and more aggressive. One of the larger ones seems to be creating a reservoir of fluid in my right lung, but in general the response by the cancer has been generally aggressive in terms of number and size.
We could tell, in our laymen’s way, as my energy level declined swiftly over the last week to 10 days. I’m also more short of breath, though that hasn’t interfered with sitting or sleeping. It is hard for me to get around. We don’t don’t the direct connection between that and the sarcoma, but I use a cane, watch my steps carefully and otherwise don’t go out on sojourns for the fun of it. Our oncologist has seen me twice in the last two weeks and to him I’m noticeably sick(er). His diagnosis is a swift, aggressive return of the cancer.
We’re taking two near term steps. The intervention radiologist thinks he may be able to drain the fluid in the lung for some short term relief. That may happen this week, on an outpatient basis. The second and most important thing is that I’ll get enrolled in hospice early in the week. We’ve seen what angels they are with our older relatives and I want to get enrolled, profiled, etc. as soon as possible so that they can make life more comfortable.
There’s never certainty about how long I have to live. Several weeks ago I would have said plus or minus some months. Today, after talking with the doctor, it is now plus or minus some weeks. We don’t have firm plans about staying here versus flying to Ashland. Those, I imagine, will appear as we see my condition change.
Meanwhile, Labor Day Weekend is the traditional end to the sailing season here on the lake. Our camp will be pretty full, including my sister Mary, Philip-Mary-Wil, and Katy (and maybe Craig) and then a couple of Goddards. Good timing.