Four treatments down, almost ten per cent of the way. When I put it that way it doesn’t seem like very much, it sounds like I have just started, which is odd because after my treatment yesterday it felt like this is part of my routine; like I have been doing this for a long time. Perhaps all of the planning, the preparation, the diagnostics and the anticipation have made it seem like I have been at this for a while. I have thirty seven more to go; another in a few hours. I think it is 37. I have an appointment with Dr. Tseng today to sort out the photon plan and to review the proton regime to date. I hope the photon portion completely replaces proton treatments and does not add any. It will be good to get the overall plan, find out when we add photon, how that integrates with proton therapy, and determine dosage.
I am leaving shortly for today’s treatment, and it is not raining this morning! I think this is the first day that I am heading out without rain. I think the grey and rain is contributing to my feeling of fatigue. Figuring out the bus system has also been draining. The system is a very efficient means of getting around Seattle; it just means careful planning around timing, carrying everything I need for the day with me and a lot of walking to, from, and between stops. Yesterday I walked downtown and caught a “RapidRide” bus that gets from downtown to an area near the Proton Centre in about 20 minutes. The walk is about 20 minutes on each end which I enjoy as well. I was tired, feeling down and it was raining (did I mention the rain? It rains a lot.). The stop is across the street from Macy’s, who were playing Christmas carols. Seriously! It was election day. November 4th. The only people feeling like Christmas yesterday were Republican senate and house candidates. The carols seemed to depress me further. The scene at the bus terminal was surreal; it was a mass of young people high, stoned, and desperate, a crowd of the addicted and mentally ill. It wasn’t scary or threatening, just depressing. I watched open drug deals on the corner. It made me want to go home, hug my daughters and never let them out of my sight. I then had a very strange experience on the bus, that came back to visit me in my sleep last night. It involved a destitute looking woman, Marshawn Lynch and a baseball. Strange, but it lifted my spirits for a while.
I will be at treatment five shortly. While on the table I have been thinking about the tumor, about chordoma, about cancer. I don’t think this is good and maybe why I feel so down after each session. I talked to a gentleman before I came here who encouraged me to meditate during the treatments. I had forgotten that. I will today, mediate and try to get out of my “cancer head”. Meditate, or think about golf, which can be mediation in a way.
Despite Macy’s carols, it is not December, it is MOVEMBER. I have not done this before, but it is impossible to both be living in a cancer residence and getting treatment at a facility primarily treating prostate cancer and NOT do Movember. On Saturday I stopped by a barber shop that was shaving men in anticipation of Movember (I think you need to start clean shaven; I’m sure that’s in the rules.). For a small donation to prostate cancer research they shaved off my beard and got me ready for this. So, since I’m growing this mustache, please support prostate cancer research. And give blood. I gave blood regularly for my entire adult life and never once, sitting in the chair, did it ever occur to me that I would need it myself. It felt good to be doing something for others, but when I needed blood in July it was sure great to know it was there. So, support prostate cancer (or whatever cancer research strikes your fancy, it doesn’t need to be prostate – chordoma research is good, too) and give blood. And be an organ donation candidate. Yeah, do that, too. When I was at UW on Friday I found out that my organ donor declaration in BC is probably not valid here in Washington. Not that anyone wants my organs, but it would be a shame to have them go to waste. So, if you have not done this do it today. Support cancer research, give blood and sign your organ donor card. And get a library card. Everyone should support their public library.
Treatment 5, time to kick this chordoma.