Friday, January 30, 2009

August will never be the same again

We still have a few firefighter calendars left over, and are letting them go at the deeply discounted rate of $10 each. If you want one, let me know and I will get it to you. All proceeds to One Kids Place, a childrens' treatment centre in North Bay.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

This one's for you, Patricia!

This from yesterday's workout: deadlifts 5-5-5-3-3-3 (225 lbs.-295-325-335-340-345)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Lingering effects

Patricia from Nashville wants to know if I'm having any lingering effects from my treatments. Certainly, cancer changed me, so let's consider some of the results:

Specific to chemotherapy, I cannot think of any lingering effects offhand. Patricia speaks of bone pain and a host of other issues that were not there before. However, I do have some annoying muskuloskeletal issues on my right side. After the lump was removed from above my right collarbone, I spent quite awhile recovering, then quite awhile in chemo. This had the effect of creating some scar tissue in the supraclavicular area, as well as some muscular atrophy in my right shoulder and arm. I've been working with a physiotherapist and chiropractor on these issues, and some days it seems the more I do my exercises, the worse the problems become. Mostly this manifests itself as muscular soreness and immobility. Last week my neck seized up. It's still sore. And then my right elbow seized up, while at work, not a good thing for a firefighter. (That was the night I dreamed it was flesh-eating disease and I required amputation. Who ever heard of a one-armed firefighter? So my dream was preoccupied with figuring out a new occupation. I decided on being a one-armed dad and a one-armed wilderness first aid instructor!)

Mentally, emotionally, cancer weighs on me still, in my dreams especially. That's the hard part about remission. What if it comes back? Is that a lump? I'm not ready to go. When my time comes, can I die with dignity?

There are some positive lingering effects. I eat better. I live better. I love Anna more. I appreciate every day more. And the most wonderful lingering effect of all? Just take a look at the pictures in the previous post. Matty is here BECAUSE of my cancer. Before I even started chemotherapy, the first thing I did was bank sperm, and Matthew is the result of subesquent fertility treatments.

Patricia, you're in my thoughts and prayers and meditations. I don't think your name ever made it onto my hand in a workout. I will rectify that tomorrow.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Our growing little boy!

Our sweet baby boy is a dream come true, as you know!
Here are some updated photos of our little love. He is getting to be a big boy!
In the past 2 weeks he has really started to smile at us and we are having a good time with silly games and faces.
He does love having a bath...

And has started to interact with some toys (though his favourite toys are mommy and daddy!). Here he is talking to his "Whoozit".

It is such an amazing thing to watch him grow and learn. My heart just keeps expanding with love for this little being.
Here he is hanging out in his relatively new fancy cloth diaper cover.

And me "wearing" him in the Moby D wrap (which Bob usually does)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Battling Demons

I just returned from a sauna at the YMCA. Nice thing, living in the city, to have easy access to a sauna. I like to meditate in the sauna. Once I read about the Dalai Lama's daily meditation practice. During meditation, he goes to other worlds and does battle with the demons that are trying to tear this world apart. Whether you believe it or not is irrelevant; he believes. Heavy stuff. Anyway, in the sauna tonight I encountered some of my own demons. At first I thought whoever was bringing me these bad dreams was a demon. (A few nights ago, in my dreams, I found a lump in my neck. Then last night I dreamed that I got flesh-eating disease and had to have my right arm amputated.) But then I thought that perhaps these dreams are a good thing, reminders of what could happen and not necessarily what will happen. So I focused instead on the positive: healthy immune system, able to recognize good from bad; strong, healthy, balanced and flexible musculoskeletal system; healthy lymphatic system, removing toxins from my body.

And now it's time for bed, and hopefully some good dreams.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Simple Plan

The Bad Dream returned last night. (No, not the one where I'm chased by a giant.) In it, my cancer is back and I have only months to live. At least, I dream, now I can leave my wife with a son. Upon awaking, I realize it was "just a dream" as if such horror could be there and then be gone. I turn on the TV, something I almost never do in the morning. Someone has left it on Much Music, a channel I almost never watch. But there's a catchy tune playing. When the tube warms up, I see faces, names, each with a date and those beautiful words: Cancer Survivor. I start to cry.

Simple Plan is a Montreal band with a new single out called Save You. The song was written for the vocalist's brother, who was diagnosed with NHL and underwent two years of chemotherapy. (Six months was enough for me!) Proceeds from the song are donated to various cancer charities through the Simple Plan Foundation. I'm hoping they'll spare me some change for the Ride to Conquer Cancer. (Note to self: get going on fundraising!)

You can watch the video on their website, and you can download the song there or on iTunes.