Eighteen Weeks

twins ovalI made an appointment with my regular doctor, Dr. Thomas sometime in late February to discuss my once again elevated cholesterol count that was found in a complete blood work up I had done. It wasn’t obscenely high, but it was climbing and higher than where I had left off when we thought it was the Lipitor giving me those pains when it really turned out to be the “C” word. We discussed, as we did way back before I started on the Lipitor that I wanted to try to get it controlled on my own with diet and exercise.

In the span of three blood tests between the end of 2013 to February of 2014, it had already started dropping on its own. It went from 289 in December 2013 to 277 in January to 266 in February. I had already begun a more regular exercise regime (as much as my still recuperating body could muster) and my diet got better after the first of the year. I had been living on pastas and ice creams and pies and cookies–all the yummy comfort foods I could get a hold of. Fortunately (and I say that with tongue in cheek) that during the chemotherapy, all that sugary goodness was just maintaining my slight weight. But after it was all over, I knew I had to cut that stuff out because otherwise I’d easily be back to at least 30 pounds overweight and back behind that eight ball.

Then, around the end of April, about the halfway mark between “official” cholesterol tests, (meaning between February and my most recent one which was two weeks ago) we wanted to see how I was progressing and the numbers were even better than before and my cholesterol by now was down to 212, a cool decrease of 54 points. As it turns out, two weeks ago, the numbers had increased again slightly and it’s back up again to 256. Not terrible and completely fixable on my own and that’s my new goal as is once again losing this annoying spare tire yet again.

On May 1, I had my follow up visit with Dr. David and because I had just had all that blood work done the week prior he said the routine blood normally done in his office was unnecessary; he went off the other results, a copy of which we had sent to him anyway.
Then came the decision about the next PET scan and he wavered a bit and finally decided that having it done now (in May) would be superfluous and given the blood results and, of course, the PET scan results from January, he decided to wait another 3 months for PET scan number 3 so by the end of July or early August I’ll be having that done.

Well, everyone, coincidentally, this final official blog entry in The Cancer Series is number 18 and 18 is the number of weeks I was undergoing treatment for my Lymphoma. Eighteen weeks sounded like such an eternity that day, hours before I was admitted to the hospital and so many days during that time themselves felt like 18 weeks.

And now, with 20/20 hindsight, looking back at March 4 when this blog series started, 18 weeks really is no time at all and I’m grateful it was a finite time frame. I know there are so many whose prognoses are a lifetime of what I went through and in the scheme of things, I really had it easy, by comparison.

There are many things in my life I’ve always wanted to experience; see a tornado–from a safe distance, of course; experience an earthquake, which I’ve done, in Springfield, Illinois, of all places, a 5.4 one on the morning of my niece’s wedding in April of 2008. Those are two examples that readily come to mind. Going through cancer was not one of the things on that list. But having gone through it gave me a new perspective. I don’t know how much altogether it has or will change my overall outlook on some things, I’m pretty set in my ways, but for the most part I’ve learned that it’s not worth sweating the small stuff and, wisely…

 

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I want to thank those of you for keeping up with my blog these past weeks. It helped me to write about my experience, to get myself on track with it and if I was able to touch one person who read this, then that little blip in my life was worth it.

Now I have to start thinking of things to blog about. I have a few ideas but my forte is, as many of you know, being snarky about just about everything under the sun so I always have that to fall back on. Plus, as they fit, I’ll be updating you with doctors’ visits and what not.

Happy early Fourth of July and to all my Canadian peeps, Happy Canada Day today.

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