Tell Me Your Story #2 (Update 2)
Attached is my latest “My Story” update. Also attached is the cover of my latest book, which I refer to in the piece. Love your blog and would love to contribute to it again!
Endings as Beginnings
When I last updated “My Story” (March 2014), I had recently “beaten” cancer only to learn that chemo had caused me congestive heart failure (CHF).
While cancer had been a full-blown battle, CHF would become a truce, a stalemate, a kissing-one’s-sister diplomatic compromise; on doctor’s orders, and by commonsensical dictate, I would need to exercise moderation in most things—food, drink, moods, physical activities. No problem—except that I had always purposefully lived life to the fullest! How might one live fully in a moderate way without slipping into a quicksand pit of sticky contradictions? This problem inspired the tongue-in-cheek title of my most recent book—“I’d Rather Have Cancer.”
One way in which I did “battle” CHF was by walking. It is a moderate exercise generally, but I did not walk in a moderate way—three to five fairly brisk miles daily. Intuitively I sensed that this could be the way to ease my heart back to health despite the “irreversible damage” wrought by chemo. As a bonus, the mood-calming, idea-sparking, slow-motion-sightseeing qualities of walking soon made this my favorite activity irrespective of health benefits. My CHF symptoms (such as labored breathing while supine) steadily faded. Then, four months ago, an echocardiogram revealed that my heart now functions somewhat normally. I walk on…
However, several weeks after that, a routine CT-scan evidenced that cancer had snuck back into my picture, having reestablished itself in two tiny lung nodules. To my self-prescribed immoderate walks I now added immoderate amounts of vitamin C—my heart condition, even improved as it is, severely limits my traditional treatment options, so I would have to fight it largely on my own.
Then last week I had a follow-up CT-scan: in three months, the smaller of the two nodules has not grown and the larger has shrunk in half!
Perhaps I ought to title my next book, “I’d Rather Be Alive.” Meanwhile, I’ll keep on writing, keep on walking, and keep on wolfing down vitamin C.
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