Long Time, No Talk

I know I’ve been gone for a while and haven’t posted anything new. I’ve mostly been re-adjusting to life after treatment and was trying to get caught up on creating artwork and pottery for the numerous holiday sales I usually sell at, from November through December. It was a crazy roller coaster of productivity and it felt good. So many new ideas and a new outlook on life pushed me to get back into my creative groove and express myself. By the end of December, I had worn myself out a bit, but it made me feel alive.

I’ve also now had my three month checkup with my oncologist. It was really good to see him and the usual happy people I’d gotten used to visiting with every week, although it did feel odd to return to the clinic. Dr. Rushing greeted us like old friends and he immediately hugged me. We wore tiny rainbow colored hats and matching bow ties. He, of course, posed for a photo with me wearing them. It was great to catch up, even when I had to remind myself I was there as a patient who had finished treatment just 3+ months earlier. When we got around to talking business it was a sobering reminder of how cancer will always be a part of my life and of a dear friend whose cancer had returned and put him back into treatment. Yeah, cancer is an inconsiderate jerk.

rushing_tinyhat

Dr. Rushing and I

Dr. Rushing told us that because I did not have blood markers before my surgery, the higher than normal numbers that indicate that something is wrong, we will just have to keep doing basic exams and I will be the gauge for knowing if something seems abnormal and I need further testing. That’s a lot of pressure, to not have an easily identifiable way of knowing if the cancer has returned or spread. He doesn’t want to put me through a cat scan every 3 months because of the radiation levels, so we will only do them if I feel like anything is off in my body. It’s a scary thing to think about, having to wait until something is clearly wrong before doing in-depth testing, but I trust my doctor with my life and it’s gotten me this far.

I’m facing it as I have everything else that has come my way this past year, with a positive attitude and the determination that I will not let cancer win, especially when it comes to negative thoughts, dread, or fear. That does nothing but hold me back and leave me waiting for the other shoe to drop, so to speak. I have been moving forward, starting to write more about my experiences as prompted by others, and am working towards promoting nutrition and the regime I followed during, and now after, treatment. Speaking with others about an experience like cancer validates the person who is/was going though it and also tends to give that person the feeling that they have some form of control over it. It’s empowering.

I’m doing work with a circle of friends as a Wellness Advocate, promoting the positive benefits I experienced because I started taking doTERRA essential oils after my surgery, around the time I started chemo. A kind friend gifted me my first 3 bottles and it has changed my life. We did a lot to keep me healthy and to keep my body from becoming malnourished. I will write more about that later and will put together exactly what I consumed so I will be able to share it with others.

I’m currently working on that and our pottery business. I told Sam after I finished treatment that I wanted to do things that make me happy versus taking the first retail job I came across to pay the bills. I am fortunate enough to have a wife who has taken 3 part-time teaching jobs in order to pay the bills while I pursue business goals and keep up with my newly invigorated creative drive. She really is the wind beneath my wings.

I’ll be better about writing from now on. The break was good, but it makes my heart happy to be back at it. Life is good.

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