Not my usual blog of finding humor in unsuspecting places, RECHARGING reflects accepting and winning over curveballs thrown at Cal and me. How medical advances and teams drove his treatment plan. And how your love and support wrapped around us like an invisibility cloak, comforting, motivating, and fueling our “can do” attitude. We never felt alone.
“No more chemo! No more radiation!” We hope you hear our joyous chants from our house to yours, across the U.S.A. to Canada and Puerto Vallarta’s Gulf Coast. Cal survived his first life changing round of chemo and radiation and our FoxForce is vibing and praying the cancer beast is on the way out of his body never to return.
Our journey began in June with Cal’s sucker punch diagnosis of Stage 3 non-small cell lung cancer. July 12 was his first week of radiation and chemo, a treatment we celebrated. “They found it. Let’s fight and force it out.”
With more treatments his body went from Dad bod to Rad bod, from 186 lbs. to 168 lbs., not a diet we’d recommend. The last 2 ½ grueling weeks were a test of staying alive on less than 6oo calories a day and doubling over in pain forcing water down past his battered esophagus. (a bullseye for radiation beams targeting enemy cells hiding under the tube.) Tho’ we were repeatedly warned about cumulative side effects, they’re shocking to experience. Today, 1st day his pain is “a notch below unbearable”. YAY ! Out to the beach for sunset. (Stage Cue: huge sigh of relief)
A Champ. A Rockstar. Cal’s a poster child for calm in a storm, sucking up pain and moving forward with appreciation and hope. Yes, he never stopped making my daily coffee, overseeing the house using his high-tech apps and doting on the diva. Reading the postings and ventings on FB Lung Cancer Caregivers and Patients group, I’m reminded daily how lucky I am!
I’m often asked, “how are you?”
Cal never got chemo brain, but I did. By osmosis. One very loopy day, I roared into a speed bump in my Magical Mighty Mini and heard it cry out “not again please” as it limped ahead. I followed that up with missing my nail appt by 2 hours which in my life is a trauma. And that night as I dined on salad, I found the nail that broke off when I spotted something turquoise on my forkful of tomato.
I’m more patient, more experienced “being in the now” (what a concept!) and confirmed my psyche is uncomfortable with meditation. Medication yes, meditation, not so much.
We love our new friend/founder of an award-winning CBD infused ice cream, Rich, tasty, pure, and one of very few things Cal can tolerate down his swollen throat. Wholesale only. Look for “Heavenly Hash” retail in Fall. Collaboration with the infamous Tommy Chong of Cheech & Chong.
On Sept 24th, following CT scans of the “after” pictures, we’ll once again stand before the oncologist to hear the sentencing. We fervently believe the treatments will have “beat the beast” and Cal will go onto immuno drip treatments, minimal side effects (hopefully), every other week for 1-2 yrs. We’ll use our newfound acceptance and strength to tackle whatever sneaks up on us.
Your outpouring of love and strength has been our life raft. There’s no doubt this quilt of compassion is as important to the cure as the newest medical treatments. We’re both more aware of other’s pains as so many of you, too, have been touched by the disease. Don’t hesitate to contact either of us to help someone else navigating this rocky terrain.
We can now focus on recharging and slowly diving into the wealth of opportunities around us. Guided by an array of Covid safe resources, we’ll ease back on our yellow brick road and embrace the WOW! in our lives!
Thanks for listening!
Fondly, Virginia / Ginni/ Auntie GInni / Gigi