Waiting for Starbucks

I’m on the home stretch!  Only 17 treatments left to go.  Olivia arrived on Thursday night and came with me to UWMC for radiation session #24.  Four more weeks and I get to home with these two:


This phase is going well now.  The treatments are easy and efficient, and I think I know what to expect in terms of side effects.  Other than fatigue, my health has not interfered with our weekend plans.  I did go to bed at 330 on Friday afternoon and slept until 830 Saturday morning; a pretty exciting Friday night in Seattle!  Olivia had not been to Capitol Hill so we walked up yesterday and saw the new Starbucks that opened on Friday (yes, Seattle needs another Starbucks).  When Olivia and Stella were last here they saw the first Starbucks; the newest one opened on Friday and has a bouncer to manage the line.

I need my fix!

I need my fix!

We passed and had coffee at the lovely little bistro next door and watched people waiting in the rain.  After a nap we went for a strenuous walk to the top of Queen Anne for dinner.  Along the way down we passed this great little “library” at the end of a driveway on Galer Street.

Take a book, leave a book - what a great idea!

Take a book, leave a book – what a great idea!

I was exhausted and slept well despite the nerve pain in my foot.  The pain has become much worse this week and is interfering with my sleep, however I think the walking helps me to manage the pain.

I went into my appointment with Dr. Tseng on Friday feeling like I am an imposter or a “cancer fraud”.  I am having some issues as a result of the radiation and they will likely get more severe, but I am almost always the healthiest person in the waiting room or at SCCA House.  I have to remind myself often that I have cancer, that I have just had significant surgery to remove a chordoma from my spine, and that I am in radiation.  We discussed nerve pain and ways to deal with it (agreeing that the oxycodone and gabapentin I am on are the best option for now) and talked about what the last few weeks of treatment might bring.  I might not be out of the woods yet, but I definitely think that this last month is going to be okay.  I have great care, tremendous support and I know I can do this.

Dr. Yolanda Tseng reassuring me that this is going well.

Dr. Yolanda Tseng reassuring me that this is going well.

6 thoughts on “Waiting for Starbucks

  1. Keep on having such a positive approach. Would really like to be there with you at Christmas. It would be almost as good as last year’s.. but not to be.
    Lots of love prayers and positive thoughts from afar


  2. Paul, so very, very grateful that are doing as ‘well as possible’. Your home and your community will be a happy place when you return to the Okanagan. We are on the countdown with you.


  3. The little libraries are a big craze in Austin, Texas. Our son, who is a school librarian, has quite an elaborate little library.

    Thank you so much for sharing our posts.


  4. Paul,

    It’s so good to hear that you are doing well. Don’t worry about being a ‘cancer fraud,’ just because you feel decent & look decent. I went through the same thing & then realized that we all have ups & downs & all of our journeys are different. I counted my blessings & hopedthe best for others on their journeys.

    You are looking good, Paul. Keep up the good work & we’ll see you when you get back. Sending you positive, healing energy.


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