In Honor of Our Anniversary

Monday was mine and Josh’s sixth wedding anniversary.  It was the first wedding anniversary we celebrated post-cancer diagnosis, so this one obviously had an especially bittersweet quality to it.  We shed our tears early in the morning and then moved on with our day, he to work and I to a boot camp class at the gym.  If you’ve been a reader of this blog (e.g., Deals With God, Numbers Mean Squat, The Bliss in Making the Journey Alone), then you may have gained the impression that Josh and I have an extraordinary love, the kind of romantic love that great poets and novelists glorify and use to tug at the heartstrings, that somehow our union is idyllic and especially blessed.  A good friend of mine who has known me for 20 years and has listened to all — and I mean all — the ins and outs of my relationship with Josh laughingly pointed out to me the other day that such an impression is not really accurate and that a more fleshed out portrayal of our relationship as she understands it would likely be more honest, relatable and even entertaining.  More


I have a lot to report on the medical front.  So this entry will be primarily a just-the-facts-ma’am kind of entry and will not be one of my usual reflective pieces.  I know it will be a welcome change for some and a disappointment for others.  There are enough friends and family who read this blog to be kept in the loop on what’s going on with me from the medical standpoint (if not the mental and emotional standpoints), that I need to get this out there.  I have a lot of musings to share (much of which comes from the experiences of the last two weeks) but those will be for future posts.


An Adventure with the Chinese Medicine Man


A couple weeks ago, a friend, whose mother is facing a rare, lethal form of breast cancer, strongly recommended that I go see Dr. G.W., an expert in dispensing herbs to treat cancer and other ailments as part of traditional Chinese medicine practices.  Initially, I was skeptical, in part because my beloved internist is so against herbal supplements — he wrote an entire chapter in a medical textbook about the untold risks associated with taking herbal supplements.  I had also assumed that my oncologist was opposed to traditional Chinese medicine as a form of either alternative or complementary treatment (as most oncologists seem to be), although we’d never discussed the topic specifically.  The fear is of course that, in the absence of clinical studies to show otherwise, the herbs might interfere with chemo treatments and have other negative ramifications resulting in the promotion of cancer growth and other afflictions.


The Bliss in Making the Journey Alone

I went through the infusion of Round 5 of Chemo this past Monday mostly alone, with a dear friend coming at the tail end to take me home.  Usually Josh meets me at the cancer center some time before the infusion starts, but this past Monday he had a $100+ million deal signing and he couldn’t leave the office.  I told him not to worry about it.  I come from the world of big corporate law so I understand how it is.  $100+ million isn’t that much money in that world, but it’s significant enough where clients have expectations.  In response to his self-inflicted guilt, I reminded Josh that work, and more importantly bringing in an income to pay for health insurance and the complementary treatments not covered by health insurance, is more important than ever now.   Besides, this was just one out of twelve chemo treatments; it wasn’t surgery; it was no big deal.  Even with the cloud of cancer hanging over us, life (as distorted from everything we once knew as normal as it may now be) must go on — the children must go to school, the conference calls must take place, the bills must be paid.


The Art of Anger

I was angry last week, not for a long time, but angry nonetheless.  It started as annoyance when a close member of my family, who shall remain nameless, told me that my last post, Invictus (which is arguably my personal favorite post), was too long and that he preferred lighter posts.  I found myself defending Invictus  — I know it’s dense and probably hard to get through I said, but I think it gets at what I struggle with the most, the reason why bad things happen to us, and I feel it carries an important message that is worth hearing, even if it means wading through the denseness and the alleged heavy and even depressing subject matter.  By that evening, my annoyance had worked itself into full blown anger, and not just at this particular family member but generally at all my family members and close friends who have claimed to or, in my judgment, should, care about me, but who, despite this, I just know — yes, I just know — are not reading this blog.  The non-English-reading family members were pardoned from my anger for obvious reasons.  Non-close family and friends were also excused because I don’t expect those people to care much about me and therefore invest the time and energy into reading my philosophical musings.  The anger made me lash out and say mean-spirited things to those offenders in my head as I tossed and turned in bed.  The speech I would have made to them if I had dared was something along the lines of this:  More