I started this post on April 21 with the words, “I am sitting in a waiting room at the City of Hope…” I was doing that yesterday as well. Over the past six months, I realize, I’ve done a LOT of waiting in waiting rooms at City of Hope. But yesterday’s doctor visit officially put a period (well, most of a period) to my time in waiting rooms. Chuck got the results of his latest PET scan, and doesn’t have to go back to City of Hope for three months which feels like forever right now. Along with his April 21 PET scan results, he also had blood work done, and it was amazing to see how quickly his white blood cell, red blood cell, and hemoglobin levels are recovering four weeks out from his last chemo treatment. We mark April 20 as the first day of real recovery – three weeks after the date of his last chemo treatment.
His hair is already coming back. Currently it’s still fuzzy and seems largely white. It’s really too early to tell at this point, it’s just nice to see some head covering. He was looking at the pics of his head’s journey today and decided that he liked the bald with goatee look best (even better than the mohawk). We’re planning on heading up to Solvang for the Santa Barbara Wine Country Half Marathon on May 9 and his goal is to finish in about 3:15 – which translates to about 15 minutes per mile. The other big thing we’re keeping fingers crossed about is that his taste for wine will have completely returned by May 9. We’re going up with his wine-loving sister and brother-in-law and all of us are looking forward to doing some quality tasting. This past Saturday we went to dinner with some friends and Chuck tried white wine and didn’t spit it out in horror (his normal reaction for the past six months to anything except sickly sweet cream sherries and crappy white zinfadels). We’re hoping that in another week reds will start tasting like wine versus toxic chemicals.
We are also deep in planning for Chuck’s annual El Prieto race. Normally we have a special t-shirt designed and printed for all comers. Given the economy this year we’ve decided to go in a different direction – as in different from us spending a boatload of money putting on the race 🙂 – and are asking folks who come to bring a donation for City of Hope. We’re feeling really, really grateful at this point, and without exaggerating believe that City of Hope helped save Chuck’s life and want to give something back and this seems like a good way to start.
So life as we know it goes on. The biggest challenge for me is to just get on with things – to let out the big breath I feel like I’ve been holding for six months. For Chuck it’s more a matter of not being too impatient as he gets back in shape after beong beaten down by chemo for so long. That and he doesn’t get to whine, “But I have caaaaaancer,” whenever he doesn’t want do things around the house. Not that he ever did that.