Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Living With The Fear Of Cancer Returning

Presently I am a 3 year survivor of stage 2 colon rectal cancer. After 2 surgeries,brief chemotherapy,and 25 sessions of radiation, I am considered by my health providers to be in remission.
As is the right of any cancer survivor, I chose to be monitored in the wellness program run by the Ottawa Cancer Clinic.After a brief orientation I was to met with my nurse practitioner ever 6 months as well as to have a Cat scan ever year.The nurse is part of an oncology team that has 2 oncologist associated with it.
 As part of my biyearly wellness visit ,I am required to take a blood test that indicates inflammation in the blood stream. It is often an early indicator of cancer.However the test is also prone  to false positives.Unfortunately,during my May/2018 visit my blood levels were elevated.
As I have written elsewhere about this highly traumatic period of my life,I will not repeat it here
.Suffice it to say,after a PET scan, and a MRI, the doctors believe the test results are related to an inflammation of  my prostate caused by surgery and/or radiation.
 July 2019,I went for my biyearly wellness check and learned once again that my blood levels are .elevated.My first reaction was total devastation and the belief  that I faced a life threatening situation.
 However,after having time to process this information,and regain my composure,I realize it is far  to early to come to that conclusion. Once again, further tests, will prove definitive.
 How does one cope with this potentially devastating news..As always,I believe strongly in a higher power.If my destiny is short lived,it is my destiny. I truly believe I have not completed my mission on earth.I plan to continue to practice my chosen profession.
 Secondly,I am blessed with a supportive family,friends and partner who have always been there for me.Thirdly I remain positive and hopeful of the best case scenario,ie: this is simply a manifestation of my prostate problems.
 In the meantime,I plan to walk the walk.I tell all  my clients that good mental health means living in the present. I intend to try to live those words.
Have a healthy,safe, and meaningful summer.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Travels With Dr David

Just back from beautiful Vancouver Island where I spent a very enjoyable week with my family at a gorgeous ocean side resort in Parksville,2 hours north of Victoria. Parksville is known for it's temperate winters(10C)and dry warm summer temperatures.An ideal climate to hike,golf and swim.
 Our 2 hour drove north from Victoria,took us through the Coquuihalla highway, a treacherous mountain road connecting the south side of the island with the north.The summit, some 1244 meters high,is challenging in summer but under winter conditions trucks must chain up to be able to climb the mountain.
 During the week I was blessed to be with my family,we stayed in spacious well appointed cottages close to the ocean. The first picture taken during high tide shows the shallowness of the water.
 This was an opportunity for me to spend quality time with my children and grandchildren.We hiked,golf,swim and played tourist  visiting the nearby sanctuary where we saw rescued bears,birds and other wide life.
Meals were a cooperative adventure,with all families participating in the barbecues.Our 4 cottages were close to each other affording me the opportunity to experience living in close physical proximity to my children and grandchildren.I had a chance to observe my grandchildren interact with each other and was pleasantly surprised how well they played together.
 One of the.highlights of the trip was golfing with my 3 sons.Like all good athletes they make the game look easy, hitting the ball a country mile.Unfortunately, my best golf is long a memory, and despite my best efforts, I now play like an old timer. Nevertheless, I did have one brief moment of reclaimed glory when I sank a long chip for a birdie.Another highlight was the picnic to a favourite local river where the grandchildren swam,rafted and sunbathed.
All too soon the week was over and each family dispersed to their respective homes.We caught a ferry to White Rock, where we spent a beautiful July 1 with my brother and sister -in-law, walking the boardwalk and enjoying the festivities on the ocean.It was a welcome change from the chaotic and crowded Ottawa we usually experience..
 A relaxing ,casual dinner, a ride to our hotel and soon we found ourselves flying east to a hot,humid Ottawa we call home