December flew like a flash. It was filled with hard work, holiday fun, and a few medical visits. It’s hard to believe that December is gone, and we are rapidly approaching the middle of January. Time really does fly.
We had a very busy December. Jamie’s mom moved from North Carolina to Florida. She is now only 10 miles from us, which helps Jamie tremendously. Since she lives closer, Jamie is able to help her much more easily than before. Mason also gets to see his Grandma more frequently which is a blessing.
We also had our share of friends and family gatherings. One of our highlights was the Christmas Vacation Griswold Party. Our lovely friends and neighbors threw an all out bash that did not disappoint. Jamie couldn’t resist dressing up as Cousin Eddie. I took the easy path of dressing up as his niece, Audrey (Clark’s grumpy teenage daughter).
Christmas was very nice. My brother Rick, and his daughter, Meghan, came for a quick visit. Right after Christmas, we made our annual December visit to 30A. It was great to spend time with our close friends. They had just moved into a new house, so Jamie was happily helping them with hammering and nailing things that needed it. Sadly, it was a quick trip and we didn’t get to see many of our other dear friends. We promise to come again and stay longer next time!
On the medical front, I did manage to have an Endoscopy in early December. Between that and the new (additional) meds that I am now taking, I have noticed a big improvement in my swallowing issues. The GI Doc put me on a strong prescription dosage of Pepcid, that I now get to take from here on out. After the Endoscopy, where they biopsied and stretched it, they decided to add Nexium to the mix. Because of the drug interaction with Xeloda, I only take it on the opposite weeks of Xeloda. They will want to see me again in 2 months and probably order another Endoscopy to compare results. There wasn’t anything worrisome, other than scarring and aggravation. Hopefully these two new meds will do the trick.
I also had my regularly scheduled Echocardiogram. If you remember, I have to have it every 3 months to ensure that my chemo meds are not adversely affecting my heart. Heart damage is a side effect, but I am lucky that my heart is doing well.
The next big scan for me is coming up this month. It is my brain MRI. It is always a scary scan for me. The scan itself has almost become routine. I’m so used to it. My biggest decision on scan day is what playlist to listen to in order to drown out that loud beeping machine. The scary part is the scanxiety! I’m lucky that my brain MRI’s have come back clean, but I’m always waiting on that “proverbial” shoe to drop.
We know that with metastatic breast cancer (stage IV), it is only a matter of time before the evil cancer cells out wits the cancer meds. So with each major scan, whether it is my brain MRI or my PET scan, we are anxious for the results. I will post the news as soon as we have it - you can count on it.
December also brought some sad news. A colleague of mine passed away from cancer. I have to admit, it was very tough. I knew he was sick, but I wasn’t aware that it was so iminent. He was a few years younger than me and had more energy and drive than most. It was hard to think of him being sick. Well, a few weeks ago, I was perusing LinkedIn and came across his post. Reading his post was a gut punch. It was awesome and terrifying at the same time. Here was a man who was on his literal death bed, but he found the conviction in his heart to write this public goodbye. I admire his strength. He died a few days after posting this:
“For those of you who may not know, I have been battling cancer for the last few years and have finally lost the battle. As I sit here and reflect over my career and my life I realize how fortunate I am to have known and worked with all of you. I have learned so much from so many of you and have never taken for granted your trust and confidence in me. So many of you were much more than colleagues and customers – you were true friends. This made work seem not like work but more like fun. I am grateful beyond words for the time we had together and wish all of you the success and happiness in life that you all deserve.”
I only hope I can be so eloquent in the end. Rest in peace Benny Wang.
Friends, time is our greatest luxury. It is our greatest asset. As we fly through 2023, let’s stay in the moment and cherish our time, cherish our friends, and cherish our family. Time really does fly.
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What a fun party theme, and great costumes! Happy to hear you’re doing well. Let’s do lunch! 😘
Great costumes! I love ‘scanxiety.’ I write on Substack about my father’s stage four metastatic melanoma. He had brain surgery last year to remove a tumor; it came back but it’s currently under control. His lung is a different story.
Thank you for your open and honest exposure of your experience. Incredibly brave ❤️❤️❤️
‘The Incompatibility of Being Alive’