What makes a good day these days? Cancer does its best to make sure there is no such thing. It makes its presence known with pain, with nausea, with fatigue. It saps your energy in a myriad of ways, it fights your spirit, best intentions and your will.
Good days come when we find ways to overcome the odds. Days when we make the effort to get outside even though it might be easier to stay indoors. It's warm, the sun is peaking through the clouds so we assemble the oxygen equipment, the wheelchair and other transfer helps and the meds. We make it into the car and make the short drive to the little park on the banks of the Connecticut River. We reverse the operation and settle Karen into her wheelchair and enjoy the sun on our faces during a brief thirty minute walk. People are out with their partners, their kids and their dogs; it's reassuring to see the normal flow of peoples lives. For us this is a remarkable day. We are still together and still in love; even after all this damn cancer that is doing its best to separate us.
It has been a lovely weekend. Our dear friends Eileen and Andy Foster came from Ithaca, NY to visit for the weekend but they have just left to return home. They are some of our oldest and dearest friends. They came and made us feel like Queen and King for a day or so with their attentions. Yesterday they helped us get to the Wadsworth Atheneum to see an exhibit of Utamaro's woodcuts and paintings. A lovely afternoon and they helped us feel like we were in control not the damn cancer; that we could have normal days where we are in charge.
So, overall the chemo drug Doxil is treating Karen alright. There is fatigue and some nausea but most importantly her blood counts rebounded to normal levels which seems to indicate that she'll be able to have a second dose in February. The fear being that the drug is too damaging so that its efficacy can't be determined because the body can't tolerate it.
This week we'll make a trip to Yale for a follow up visit to the doctor that is advising us on Karen's hip. We don't expect much news there. Otherwise more follow up bloodwork to monitor the Doxil.
A fine weekend and a good day today but tonight Karen's fighting waves of nausea. I help as best as I can and write our post in between those waves.
And So It Goes.
Photo - William Evertson - Karen and Bill in Hurd Park
William and Karen - Karen and I have been married for 41 years. Karen's breast cancer has reached stage 4. This is what happens next.