The end is near!

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The end is near!  One more treatment, some doctor’s appointments, and I am done tomorrow!  One more radiation session!  I can hardly believe that this portion of my journey is ending.  What seemed so daunting three months ago has been both easier and harder than I had anticipated.  I was worried that I would be in rough shape by now but I am finishing strong.  Tomorrow I have a “graduation” ceremony to celebrate the end of radiation and can then move into the next phase of my healing.

I am feeling pretty good overall, however my back really can’t take any more radiation, the skin is well and truly fried.  Otherwise I have been much healthier throughout this process than I had expected, due to a combination of good health care, my body’s reaction to radiation and the protection of the Marshawn Lynch baseball.  Even my fatigue has been manageable this past week.  I think that having Olivia and Stella here over Christmas really helped motivate me to get up and stay out of bed.  After treatment yesterday we went to the Space Needle and I stayed out of bed until 5pm!!!

If all goes well we will head home on Thursday, January 1st.  I haven’t slept in my own bed since July 5th, and am looking forward to spending a lot of time in it during a quiet month of rest and recovery.  Follow up appointments start next month, Dr. Fisher in Vancouver to find out how to deal with the ongoing nerve pain I am experiencing and then back to Seattle in February to ensure that recovery from radiation is on course.  In March I will start regular x-rays, scans and MRI’s that will hopefully show that my spine is tumor free and that there has been no cancer spread.

This holiday week has been awesome.  Around treatments we celebrated Christmas at SCCA House, which was lovely.  There was great comradery in the kitchen as families made their meals, either elaborate or simple, everything from Mexican feasts to warmed up frozen pizza, and talked about spending Christmas “away”.  We were able to assemble a pretty decent Christmas dinner:  turkey, potatoes, stuffing, gravy, and broccoli.  It was delicious and fun to prepare with Stella and Olivia.


In the week that they have been here we have done so much.  Olivia and Stella went to Christmas Eve mass at St. James Cathedral (while I napped), we took in a Christmas play at Taproot Theater, had dinner with our new friends Todd and Jane, saw the window displays downtown, the gingerbread houses at the Sheraton and toured the Pacific Science Center (well, Olivia and Stella did, I napped for most of it…).  On Saturday we celebrated our anniversary at Poppy, a thali inspired restaurant on Capitol Hill where Stella was introduced to raw oysters.

While I am very much looking forward to being done and to going home, I am going to miss Seattle, SCCA House, my radiation therapists and doctors, and exploring this great city.  I’m even going to miss Seattle’s bus stops, which have very cool art:

This bus stop at Stewart and John includes my favorite Woody Allen quote "I ran into Isosceles.  He had a great idea for a new triangle!"

This bus stop at Stewart and John includes my favorite Woody Allen quote “I ran into Isosceles. He had a great idea for a new triangle!”

Mostly, though, I am looking forward to putting this chapter behind me and starting 2015 calmly and peacefully, to holding onto the good from this trip with gratitude.  I know that I need to limit my expectations in January; it will be a month of rest and recovery.  My burn will worsen for a while (thank you Liza for the great follow up advice!), my fatigue will take some time to disappear, and my bowels will take some time to heal, but I am anxious to move forward and be healthy again.  I also need to conserve my energy for the Seahawks’ playoff run.

Happy New Year.  I hope 2015 is a healthy, prosperous year full of love for you.

19 thoughts on “The end is near!

  1. Happy New Year! Pippa is looking forward to your restful recovery at home so that she can sleep and snuggle with you. She’s been practising her technique and has almost perfected it.


  2. Thats AWESOME Paul!! 🙂
    You’re new Life is about to begin.
    Enjoy every single minute of it.
    See you back in Kelowna.
    Warm Hugs!!
    – roberto


    Remember the Gingerbread Village at Sheraton in Hawaii?
    Pleased that you celebrated Christmas well in more ways than one and got to go up the needle.
    Onwards and upwards.
    Lots of love and prayers from afar!


  4. Wow O Wow! How time flies, as George Carnahan would say, when you are having fun!!! and sometimes when you are not!!! You have inspired many people with your courage and humour, us included. It is wonderful to sense your optimistic approach to the future bot short and long term. We know you will succeed.

    It has also been most impressive to observe the growth and development of your writing over the months. Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. These are wonderful news.

    You have been an inspiration and I am very happy to hear you are going home.

    Happy New Year to you Paul, Olivia and Stella!

    Wishing you much health, hapinness and joy in your lives.


  6. So wonderful to hear you are onto the next chapter as the New Year begins. I have loved reading your blog. Happy new year to you and your family!


  7. Hi, Paul,

    It’s so wonderful to hear that you will be finished your treatment & mostly, that you will be home very soon! Sounded like you had a busy Christmas which kept you out of trouble! LOL! The next part of the journey will be the next part of the journey. Welcome home, Paul. J


  8. Hi. Paul, there is no better place than HOME, it is amazing what positive thinking can do to someone. Happy home coming and I wish you an even happier 2015.
    Hope to see you soon again.


  9. We are so happy to hear that you will be home soon.Wishing you,Olivia,Stella,your parents and other family members all the Best in 2015.
    Thinking of you all.
    Joan and Bob


  10. To Paul, Olivia, Stella and Maya,

    I shed tears of joy at your convocation today, Paul (through FaceTime). I was 9 or 10 when I first shed tears of joy upon seeing my own sister, Julienne, after an absence of many months. I was startled–I did not know what tears of joy were at the time.Since then I have, thankfully, had many opportunities to experience those tears.

    Thank you for inspiring such tears on the eve of 2015. May we all have the courage to accept what life will bring in 2015. May we all be part of communities that give and receive with love.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Pingback: #FollowFriday – A Look Back at 2014 | from the sticks to the bricks and back again

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