Tuesday, 1 September 2015

The Gift of Summer plus a Quick Update

We're at the end of yet another typical British summer, that means not really summer as I know it but a little bit of all four seasons in one, if you know what I mean UK :) I did sorely miss the summers spent in Vancouver and Seattle. But, I'm so not complaining. When you've got Cancer, the seasons changing is a little more exhilarant. The passage of time and being there to witness it becomes more poignant, almost sublime. Though the first half of the year didn't really turn out as I had planned, I remain hopeful, and, more days of Sunshine is always good!

Summer has always been my favourite no matter which latitude of the globe I'm in. I started off my summer with one thing I thought I will never get to do again - hike! Yes you read that right, I defied common sense and went on a little hike. To everyone with working lungs, this is just a little hike, but my Oncologist would probably tell me I'm out of my mind when he finds out what I did the day before my first Nivolumab treatment. I've been taking photos of this imposing hill in Kinnesswood, Scotland and all I can think of is, I want to get up there. My sensible mind says "you've got lung cancer you lunatic", so for days I would just look at it, that's a great place to meditate and ground, I would say to myself. So while I was walking our Maltese terrier, Kirby, I decided yeah let' s get up there. He got excited, so sweet, he actually found a path to follow, so off we went, stopping once in a while to capture some photographs, to catch my breath, or take the compulsory selfies, which I need to learn the art of, seriously. 

there's the target
How do people take selfies Kirby?
Views worth the climb!
We Made It! and yes there's another tier but that's too steep for me :)
so relaxing up here, air so crisp and fresh!

Wonderful Sunshine!
Time to ground!
This is early morning, that hair just got out of bed, and make up, nah, I wanted to soak up all that fresh air!
Gliders, hmm I want to get into one of those.
lovely day
Summers are always too quick for me, but living these days and seeing what I would have missed, I cherished everyday of it, even when most days lacked the sunshine that filled my past summers. 

Now a quick update. 
I'm on infusion number 6 of Nivolumab and had my first CT scan last week. Unfortunately it showed the cancer has progressed, though not considerably. My blood pressure has dropped dramatically and my blood tests warrant further testing for sugar levels and possible thyroid deficiencies, all in the works as I am writing this. Nivolumab is a relatively new drug and my Oncologist said it is possible that in my case, it takes more time to manifest. I will be given 2-3 more infusions and get scanned again, if this doesn't show that the cancer is responding then it's time to move on and find another treatment. 
It's been a tough half of the year, and I need a sabbatical. My psychologist just validated what I was already planning, to get away for a bit, on my own, and rethink my direction, both on the cancer and, well, my life. As soon as the kids are settled with school, then I'm off to an Ashram or a Buddhist retreat, I have yet to pick one that can best give me the serenity I need at this point so I can come back stronger in body, mind, and spirit.

“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.” ― F. Scott Fitzgerald

“I love how summer just wraps its arms around you like a warm blanky.”― Kellie Elmore