Cancer-free for now!

A Cancer Cell

I had a Petscan a couple of weeks ago and a lung biopsy this past Thursday. Yesterday I learned that they found “no cancer cells.” For those who don’t know, a Petscan helps to identify “hot spots” in your body to check for unusual cell growth and disease. It is much more detailed than a Catscan or MRI. I found the Petscan results quite interesting, but the biopsy was particularly amazing! How can they target a small tumor and then go in and obtain such a microscopic tissue sample?

But I soon realized the more important question is how do I deal with so much more information about what is happening in my body? The technology is outrunning our ability to deal with the results! To tell you the truth, I was more concerned about what treatments might be needed and how they might affect my overall health than having “cancer.” Treatments like chemo or radiation sound scary enough.

I’m glad there are treatments, but none sound real “healthy.” In the past we just wouldn’t know what was happening inside until it was too late. Now we are able to know so much more so much earlier. Then we have to decide how to think and feel about all of this information. It certainly helps me focus much more clearly on my own mortality and I happen to believe that that is a good thing. How do I feel about my life so far? Would it be OK if it ended now?

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And I thought I had it bad… see “Five Feet Apart”

“We’re all living on borrowed air…enjoy it!

Just finished watching the new film “Five Feet Apart” about teenagers with Cystic Fibrosis, and as one who has my own difficulties breathing, I can heartily recommend it!

Since I have been pretty healthy my whole life, I wonder why at around age sixty various systems have begun failing. I even feel sorry for myself when I cannot enjoy the higher elevations anymore. At present I wait to see the results of a recent lung biopsy. Why me? Why now?

But when I see a film like this, I can only feel super lucky to have been all the places I’ve been in my 64 years, had all of those great and not-so-great relationships, and done pretty much whatever I wanted to.

What can you say about two teenagers who fall deeply in love for the first time in their lives, and aren’t supposed to touch each other? This film is tastefully done, with great dialogue and music. It makes you think about life and death and why we are all here. See it. You won’t regret it!

A nation born of racial violence…

It does not take a genius to see that by killing most native peoples in this country and then importing native Africans to produce our crops for us, our very existence was based on racial violence. Anyone who hates immigrants today must hate themselves, because we are almost all immigrants to this beautiful land.

As one who rarely quotes the Bible, I say, “Violence begets violence” in all of human history. Our nation was born of violence against the aborigines of this country first, and then Africans who did NOT want to come here on slave ships! In the West we have a long history of hate for Latinos, the Chinese and the Japanese. What a country! And now we act surprised that the violence continues?

A nation born of immigration and racial violence should not now be surprised that racism and violence continues to this day. I see absolutely no end in sight. Thoughts and prayers will never be enough. A total change in human conscience is in order.

What’s looking happy in my mid-summer Spanish Peaks garden?

A sunset view from my garden!

When everything else in life seems crazy, it’s back to the garden for me. I’m sure some of you can relate…. We have received some nice rain showers this July, bringing us up to 13.5 inches of rain so far this water year (October to September). Compared to last year’s 9 inches, we are doing great! So, what’s looking super happy in my garden right now?

My Blue Mist Spirea is so happy here! They bloom the end of July

The Blue Mist Spirea bushes for one! I have five of these because I found out last year how happy they can be here with no deer to bother them.

The Gallardia or Blanket Flower is also quite content. I have always had great luck with these nearly native orange and yellow plants. But this year I tried a new variety that is all red. I am quite pleased with the results! It just keeps on blooming.

Colorado Four-O’clock, a tough native to do in!

Another shocker is that my native Mirabilis Multiflora or Colorado Four-O’clock is coming back again with a vengeance after a horrible time last summer with the wildfires around here. I have one plant (a taproot variety) on the edge of my garden, that was there before we started building here. Then when we hardscaped the garden this spring, I was afraid we had killed it, but nope. It’s a beauty again this year! Impossible to transplant, but also tough to kill.

Now do you see why I love gardening? With time and patience, there’s always something new to wonder about and be surprised by…

Pet scans and such, cancer anyone?

I find I have nothing to say at the moment. Have you ever had to wait to see if you have cancer? That’s where I’m at. I had a Petscan Tuesday afternoon and of course there seems to be no doctor who isn’t on vacation or just “off” who can call me and tell me the results.

What is a Petscan? Mayo Clinic:

A positron emission tomography (PET) scan is an imaging test that helps reveal how your tissues and organs are functioning. A PET scan uses a radioactive drug (tracer) to show this activity. This scan can sometimes detect disease before it shows up on other imaging tests. The tracer may be injected, swallowed or inhaled, depending on which organ or tissue is being studied. The tracer collects in areas of your body that have higher levels of chemical activity, which often correspond to areas of disease. On a PET scan, these areas show up as bright spots.

A PET scan is useful in revealing or evaluating several conditions, including many cancers, heart disease and brain disorders. 

American medicine at work. I ask you, could our system be anymore fucked up??? I truly doubt it… So I meditate, I sleep, I listen to great music and try not to think about death, and what it might mean to those who truly love me.

A couple strange things about Petscans. Did you know that the radioactive isotope they put in your veins is so strong that it can impact anyone in the room with you? Really! For a minute I thought the tech who put it in was kidding! And then there’s that cocoon they put you in inside of that tiny hole. Close your eyes and you hardly know you’re there unless your nose starts to itch, badly. But I survived all that and now I wait because no doctor is willing to take the time to give me a call…

Postscript: A small spot of “unusual cell growth” was found in my lungs. Further tests next week…