Category Archives: Esophagus Cancer

Pulitzer Prize Nomination: A Posthumous Birthday Gift


Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead. Oscar Wilde

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Photo Credit: Carline Jean Photographer for the Sun-Sentinel

Today, January 24, would have been Richard’s eighty-fourth birthday. Last year we celebrated with a small group of friends at one of our favorite stopping grounds, D’Angelo’s, in Fort Lauderdale; it was a fun-filled evening that everyone will always remember.  One of my favorite photos from our story, ‘In Sickness and In Health: A Couple’s Final Journey was snapped at D’Angelo’s last year.  Anticipating those delicious Petit Fours, you see us both peering into the box, as if we are playing a game of peek-a-boo.  While I forget how many Petit Fours were in the box, I do remember that by the next morning, the box was empty!

This week comes the word that our story, ‘In Sickness and In Health: A Couple’s Final Journey’ has been nominated by the Sun-Sentinel for Pulitzer Prize consideration.  I think it is fitting that I share this information with you today on what would have been Richard’s eighty-fourth birthday.  Both modest, yet very accomplished, Sun-Sentinel journalist Diane Lade and photojournalist Carline Jean told our story in a very loving way that has touched over 400,000 people worldwide.  I am thankful because the story has provided me with a very special memory that will last a lifetime.

Those who knew Richard knew him to be a private person.  For him to agree to do the story was his gift of love, care, and commitment to me.  I return it two-fold.  I am reminded of some sage advice that I have received along the way since Richard’s life transition: ‘The feeling of missing him will get softer, but the love you shared will always be strong.’  I think of these words of wisdom quite often, especially today on his birthday with this special news, reminds me how strong love can be in one’s life.

My faith tells me that I will see him again; my mind tells me that he is forever pain-free; my heart tells me that he is right next to me.

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Superstars: Diane Lade and Carline Jean

I thank Diane Lade and Carline Jean for telling our story through the lens of love, care and commitment as that was the true story of our life together.  In my book, they have already won; they also won Richard’s heart along the way, too.  For without their demonstration of professionalism, along with the love, care, and commitment they showed to us on this journey, Richard never would have felt comfortable, especially over the last few months,  to continue with the story as the cancer took over his body.

Richard said to me just a few weeks before he made his life transition, “Diane and Carline are going to have quite an end to their story.”  That Sunday afternoon on March 9, 2014 when Richard made his life transition, he waited for Diane and Carline to arrive in order to say his goodbye to two people who he allowed into his heart.  Richard let very few people into his life, and in his way, by this very deserving nomination, Richard’s love, care, and commitment, continues to give back to the people he loved, cared and trusted the most.

Congratulations to Diane, Carline and the entire Sun-Sentinel Staff who worked on this project.

Diane Lade and Carline Jean will always have a special place in my heart.

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Filed under Esophagus Cancer, LGBT Couples, LGBT Seniors

Positive Thoughts Helps Ease The Diagnosis


Today we had our second visit to the radiation oncologist to secure images on TLO’s spine in order to determine the course of action for the upcoming radiation treatments. We were so pleased by the experience we had today because of the care and concern showed to us by the technician who was taking the images.

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Luis was a class act today. He took the time to thoroughly explain to us the procedure, what to expect and when we would know of the results. He listened attentive to our questions and made us both feel at ease. But I think what set the positive tone off was the way he greeted us in the waiting room. He went right over to TLO, extended his hand and introduced himself, then turned to me with the same warm welcome!

His approach was truly an ice breaker!

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Luis’ style today was not only professional and friendly, it was therapeutic! His demeanor today completely put TLO at ease, which has lasted the rest of the day.

“I really feel good today” said TLO after dinner this evening. “Was my cooking that great tonight I asked?” “Don’t kid yourself” he said. “I really came away from our appointment today feeling good about the how I was treated and the whole environment of the office. Luis was so nice to me and listened, that does not always happen in these settings. I am so glad that we are going to this office for treatments, I feel safe, secure and appreciated!”

I agree with him 100%!

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As the night has progressed, TLO is resting comfortably and we are both at peace thanks to Luis’ excellent care today. We don’t look at the future as being bleak, we look at each day as a blessing to share with each other, to care for each other and to be open to the days ahead.

We’ve had our cries; we’ve had our frustration and now we just deal with the reality of what is in front of us. One simple act of kindness by Luis today help alleviate 10 days worth of fear and frustration. Our hats are off to Luis!

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You see… We might have cancer…but cancer does not have us!

 

 

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Cancer: That Unwelcomed Guest Has Returned


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Love Is Composed Of A Single Soul Inhabiting Two Bodies:  Aristotle 

Saturday’s revelation that ‘The Little Ones’ cancer has metastases to his spine was devastating.  Two years past his radiation and chemotherapy treatment for esophageal cancer, we are back facing this vicious disease.  ‘It’s’ been knocking on the door the last few weeks; it is difficult to acknowledge this unwelcome guest has returned with new vigor and new strength.

I am not sure I can accurately describe our emotions at this time.

Concerned for the past few weeks that the tumor was active again, Friday’s MRI and CT scan proved our suspicions true.  While the news is unwelcome, we are thankful that at least we know the source the pain and discomfort which will allow us to act accordingly.  Palliative radiation is a new term that I learned on Saturday; TLO will immediately start palliative radiation treatments to help relieve the serve pain that suddenly came upon him Thursday night.

Scary does not do his pain justice on Thursday night; nor how we feel right now.

Imploring the attending physicians at the hospital to consult with TLO’s primary care physician helped avoid an unnecessary cardiac catheterization procedure which would have been dangerous and certainly unnecessary.  The cardiologist was sure his issues were cardiac, ‘he has the classic symptoms and history of heart disease,” said the cardiologist.  ‘That may be true, but before we make any decisions on doing a cardiac catheterization, it is important that we first find out what is going on with the tumor; we are not doing any invasive procedures until we have the MRI and CT scan’, I suggested. The cardiologist was working out of his area of medicine and we respect that.  

The harsh reality of the news creates an immediate void to an unpredicted 1385583_607513719290066_905165614_n (1)future.  The last twenty-four hours back at the house has found both of us to be just a bit sad and depressed.  We both have to watch those emotions so that they do not permeate our decision-making process. Depression often plays such a strong role in how disease functions in the body.  While we are both cognizant of that, it comes down to mind over matter.  As I’ve said before…”It just ain’t easy!”

A whole set of new and intense emotions intrude on us right now.  Worry, detachment, mortality, anger, fear of abandonment and having to live life alone. These gut wrenching emotions lurk in our minds when faced with a life-and-relationship-altering illness.  Often times, you have to give up things that you lovein order to care for the one you love.

Over the past 24 hours, we have had the chance to talk openly about what lies ahead of us.  As we begin to accept the raw news that was delivered yesterday, TLO is insistent that we continue to advocate for those who have no one to advocate for them.  “What would have happened to me if I had gone ahead with the cardiac producer; what would have happened to me if I had no one to advocate for me,” TLO exclaimed!  We intend to be as open as possible with everyone as we move forward with treatments.

We will push ahead because life’s journeys are not often driven on smooth roads, but we can always hope for a gentle wind at our back. This gentle wind is always fortified by our love, our faith, our friends and our trust.

Thank You for being a part of this journey with us!

You see…we might have cancer, but cancer does not have us! 

TLOCJM

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Slumber Party At The Hospital!


As the day progressed from our visit to the Emergency Room early this morning, ‘The Little One’ was admitted to the cardiac unit at North Broward Hospital late this afternoon. He is resting peacefully now!

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We’ve been caught up in the emotion of the day, but we know that we are in a safe place this evening. The last week or so at home has been quite stressful for both of us as TLO’s health has been a challenge. New areas of pain overshadowed by different kinds of pain. A new experience?

As the Caregiver, I want to take away his pain. I am confident that all Caregivers understand this. As Caregivers, we sit back, take a deep breath and want our secret powers from our Caregiving Cape to make everything better… Whoosh

But the cold hard facts are that we all all human!

A slumber party is in order this evening; there will not be any pillow fights and there will be no popcorn as well. The slumber party may not take away the pain, but the slumber party will certainly p20130918-214639.jpgprovide the much needed comfort that we seek during our Caregiving journey.

Finding comfort is one of the common denominator in Caregiving. We all want it, we all strive for it, but we don’t know how to find it when we are in the midst of our journey.

Tonight I am finding my comfort zone by having a slumber party at the hospital. There is no comfort in going home to an empty house! Heck, I might even ring that call bell.

You see… We might have cancer, but cancer does not have us!

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Tumors Have No Boundaries


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One of the insidious parts of (most) cancer is that it is often sight unseen. Sure, the naked eye can see the wear and tear that chemotherapy andeyecheck radiation takes on the body, but those nasty tumors live rebelliously inside one’s body without a hint of what they might do next.

We are in the midst of experiencing the rebellious side of that nasty tumor that sits inside The Little One’s body. Not knowing what it is going to do next, the tumor has decided to showvirius its ugly head at night when you least expect it. “I can’t lay on my side, it’s too painful” he said…”What do you think is causing the pain” I asked…”Heaven only knows” he said…”But I can’t sleep laying down, I am so worn out from all of this,” he said!

Amen to that!

While we are grateful for the good health that The Little One has had since his diagnoses and subsequent treatment in 2011, however it has occurred to me that this unwelcome visitor to his body has no boundaries! We are always talking about setting boundaries in our life, yet this tumor has a mind of its own. It is as rebellions as a teenager. It wake when it wants to and does what it pleases; what an unwelcome guest!

Resting peacefully this afternoon after a trip to the Primary Care Physician today, The Little One takes these bumps in the road with utter peace and calm. I cannot photo (2)say that has been true for me today. He deals with the pain; I want to take it away. He is realistic; I am pessimistic. I want to help, but what can I do other than offer care and comfort? There is no bandage to apply, there is no fever to check, and there are no other signs of him needing help. That is one of the craziest parts in this process, and that is exactly what this is… a process!

Seeing is always believing?

Sure, the next new pill we will be trying this evening might put a fence around the tumor in hopes that it will limit its boundaries. However, I would prefer023 to goon it up with a crosscheck and a boarding penalty in order to enact some revenge on something that I cannot see. (Thank Goodness hockey season is upon us!) While with both know the reality of his cancer, we are both aware of the uncertainty with his cancer as well: what a paradox!

The most important thing that I learned today as we traveled together on another part of our Caregiving Journey is that I have to be there to be supportive, to share information, to advocate for the one I care for, and the one that I love. Caregiving was never meant to be easy, but we can make it easier on ourselves by talking about our fears, by being present to our needs, while being an advocate for the one we care. Thankful for the support at work, family and friends across the country and especially my extended family at Caregiving.com for checking in on us today!

Even though the insidious tumor may not want to set boundaries, we can stifle the tumor control over us by simply being realistic and present to each other. Easier said than done, yet possible because you see… We Might Have Cancer, But Cancer Does Not Have Us!

Chris MacLellan is a Caregiver to his partner Richard Schiffer; the Coordinator of Senior Services for SunServe Social Services in Wilton Manors, FL.; and the host of ‘Be A Healthy Caregiver’ on Blog Talk Radio.

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“He’s My Miracle Patient!”


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“He’s MY Miracle Patient”  Dr. Milica Starcevic April 1, 2013

Today as we visited Richard’s primary care physician for his quarterly check-up. This is no April Fools joke, reality before our eyes, a miracle in the works!  BRS2

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After reviewing all the blood work, checking in on recent history with his health, then receiving updates from both of us she just uttered these words:

“He Is My Miracle Patient!”

Given 3 to 4 months to live in October of 2011; In August of this year we will ‘celebrate’ 2 years since the original diagnosis of esophagus  cancer.  Like many families who go through a cancer diagnoses, we were filled with so many diverse emotions.  Now two years past, we are thankful for each and every day we spend together.  Sure some days are better than others, and the esophagus does ‘act-up’ from time to time; the tumor does have a mind of its own!

Being a family caregiver comes with quite a bit of sacrifice and courage, and just like ‘The Little One”, I have my good days and I have my bad days.  Sleepless nights, worrying about things that I cannot control and wondering what’s going to happen next.  It’s all part of the role of being a family caregiver. 

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Yet on a day like today, being a family caregiver is put into perspective  when Dr. Starcevic turned to me and said “thank you  for being a Caregiver.”  Those long nights, followed by those uncertain  days were a thing of the past by those simple words uttered by Dr. Starcevic!  Of course, a big smile from ‘The Little One Helped, too!

You see…We Might Have Cancer,

But Cancer Does Not Have Us!

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End Of Life Wishes: Sometimes You Just Have To Ask.


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The Purple Jackety Highly recommends Caregiving.com

The Purple Jacket Highly recommends Caregiving.com

On Saturday,  Richard and I were guest on ‘Your Caregiving Journey’ hosted by Denise Brown from Caregiving.com You can listen to the show by simply clicking here. 

Our conversation today came out of a discussion that Denise and I had a couple of weeks ago about a decision I made to withhold information from Richard after he completed his radiation and chemotherapy treatments where the oncologist estimated that he had 3 to 4 months to live.    We also talked about a variety of other  end of life topics that are often difficult to discuss, yet important to get out in the open.

Having a discussion with your partner or caree on such a sensitive topic can be difficult, but so essential in order to Be A Healthy Caregiver. 

During our discussion, Richard spoke about his desires when his pain becomes too great, 20111225-083619.jpgdescribed what a good day feels like and shared what he whats from me as his partner and caregiver on a daily basis. Sometimes it is a simple as…’When something is wrong with me, you will be the first to know, until then, just let me be!

Denise and I talked about the challenge of letting go of my own beliefs and emotions when it comes to Richard’s  wishes.  As I mentioned on the show, Richard and I come for different faith traditions which has  different perspectives and philosophies when it comes to end of life hands touchgindecisions. However as his partner and his caregiver, it is essential for me to put aside my own personal beliefs so that I can honor what Richard wants.

As Caregivers and life partners, we often forget that we are not the ones who are sick.  While we share in our care and concern for each other, when it comes to these critical issues, it is important to follow the wishes of the one who is ill.

End of life discussions are never easy to have.  Richard and I have both buried our partners and while we both have previous experience in this subject, it does not make it any easier. We just know that we have to have this discussion.

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Herman & Richard 1990’s

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Richard & Chris late 1980’s

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Richard & Chris 2012

Find a way to have that end-of-life discussion…

Below are some great example of how to start this conversation along with some great questions to to get the conversation going provided by Denise Brown at Caregiving.com

“If you feel uncomfortable, simply say, “I’m uncomfortable with what I’m about to ask, but I’ve been giving some thought to your last months. I want to make sure I understand what you what and need. Would you be up to having a discussion?” And then go from there. The discussion is a process which means you might continue the conversation over several days and weeks and month. And, as your caree’s health changes, you’ll want to revisit the discussion to ensure your caree’s wishes haven’t changed.”

These questions can help during your discussion:

1. How do you want to spend your last months and weeks and days?

2. What do you want from me during your last months?

3. What’s a good day like for you? (This is a good question to ask regularly as the definition of a “good day” will change.)

4. Do you have any unfinished business you’d like to finish?

5. How do you feel about dying? What do you think happens after we die?

If you haven’t visited Denise Brown at Caregiving.com now is the time to do so.  Richard and I consider Denise and all the members of Caregiving.com as our extended family.   Denise is a true leader in the Caregiving community.

Remember…We Might Have Cancer…

img_19122012_204936But Cancer Does Not Have US!

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“I’m between 81 and Death!”


If I had no sense of humor, I would long ago have committed suicide.
Mahatma Gandhi

We are three weeks into our FitPass program with Caregiving.com and the group is progressing along just fine. There are so many reasons why we put on weight; stress, poor choices, not seeing food as fuel is just a few of the topics that come up during our FitPass discussions on Monday night. While I have a long way to go in order to sort out why I have put on weight, I am pleased with the loss of 8lbs since we’ve started this program.

It just so happened that the ‘The Little One‘ had his own discussion on health and fitness with a nurse who came to visit him on Monday in our home. This visit was a courtesy of one of the many programs that his insurance plan has for him in Florida. (Hence another reason to be here full-time) While I missed the visit today, I certainly heard about it during our dinner conversation.

“I was given all these instructions on what I should be eating and how I should be eating. While I appreciated the concern and the information I was given, I just looked at her and said...I’m between 81 and death, at this point in my life and what I have been through this past year, what difference does it really make what I eat?” I’m sure he said this in a polite tone.

I mentioned ‘The Little One’s conversation this evening during our FitPass conference call and made the comment, “I’m the one who should have had that conversation today as it is my eating habits and fitness that is out of whack.”

The common denominator here is simple, it is about the perception of one’s quality of life.

‘The Little One’ can never be accused of not having a realistic view of his condition. Yesterday is gone — today is here — not sure about tomorrow. He has admirably lived by this motto for quite some time now. (Remember, he was given 3-4 months to live last October!) Like many people who are diagnosed with a life threatening illness, it’s not uncommon for a conversation to take place about Quality of Life. Quality of Life will have a different meaning for each one each of us. ‘The Little One’ has outlived everyone’s expectations; he is cognizant of what quality of life means to him. Who is it for anyone else to argue with him on this point? At this time in his life, eating one less scoop of ice cream or having one less helping of milk chocolate raisins is not going to do anything for him other than deprive him of a pleasure. I’d say ‘go for it and enjoy!’

Photo Credit: The Purple Jacket

The more I thought about his visit with the nurse, and the more I talked about it with our FitPass group, I realized that I have lost sight of what quality of life means to me. You see, as a Caregiver we get so wrapped up in the needs of our caree, we often forget about our own needs. That extra scoop of ice cream sure feels good when you’ve had a stressful day of Caregiving, work, life etc. However, that does not mean you have to have that extra scoop of ice cream every night!

Photo Credit: Wayne Dyer

In order to make healthy choices, we have to be aware of our options. With that, we have to recognize and own what quality of life means to us as an individual . For ‘The Little One’ that extra scoop of ice cream signifies an accomplishment and truly is a part of his quality of life; he has earned it! For me, my quality of life can not be tied solely to his, for in that, I lose my sense of self. (I.e. Weight Gain) How can I be a good caregiver if I am not taking care of myself?

While the nurse that visited our home on Monday was not there to see me, in reality the message she left…was solely for me!

You see…We might have Cancer…But Cancer does not have us!

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Filed under Advocate, Bow Tie Guy, cancer treatments, caregiver, Caregiving, Esophagus Cancer, Live Love Laugh, Unconditional Love

What A Difference A Year Makes


Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood. Helen Keller
It was just one year ago that ‘The Little One‘ started his chemo and radiation treatments.  I remember one of my early blog posts during that first week of treatments entitled;  I’m Radioactive!  where ‘The Little One’ said ” I don’t care what you put into my body as long as it is going to help me beat this cancer.”

We learned that the first week of treatments is usually the easiest; we also learned six weeks later just how difficult chemotherapy was for  ‘The Little One.’  What they put in his body was dreadful, yet it helped stop the spread of his cancer cells. Now a year removed from the start of his treatments,  ‘The Little One’ still has his ups and downs, his good days and his bad days; we are enjoying life in the moment!   According to the American Cancer Society “Survival rates are often based on previous outcomes of large numbers of people who had the disease, but they cannot predict what will happen to any particular person.”  (“Survival rates for,” 01).

“The Little One” was fortunate that the cancer was local and had not  metastasized. We live life in the moment, enjoying each day as an extended stay, not worried about tomorrow. Given three to four months  to live, ‘The Little One” has far exceeded anyone’s expectations (except ours!).  In 6 weeks, we will be one year past that diagnosis! He has already beaten the first survival rate indicated by the American Cancer Society which is quite an accomplishment for someone of his age.

Through our Caregiving journey we have  learned the meaning of true friends, and what is important in life.  While each one of us deals with the reality of cancer in a different way, each one of us wants to look on the bright side of life. Yesterday is gone, today is here, not sure about tomorrow. It is our hope that lets us withstand problems; it is our beliefs that let us find solutions.

Phase II of our Caregiving journey starts this September as I will be learning  a new chapter in my life;  How to take care of me!   Sounds selfish, but it is the reality that I must face.  Each one of us deals with stress in different ways.  I dealt with the stress of this past year by over eating and over thinking.  I thought I had it under control, but I was in too much control. In many ways, I am better at taking care of others than taking care of myself.  That is a paradox and may be a bit overstated, but that is my reality at the moment. Thankfully I am in a place to deal with it and fix it.

Caregivers are so focused on taking care of their loved one (caree), that we as caregivers often lose sight of self.  To be a healthy caregiver, we do not have to surrender our individuality, we have to  celebrate it!  

What are the (my)  keys to being a Healthy Caregiver?

  • Health < Healthy Caregiving Starts With You!
  • <  Eat Healthy
  • A Achieve Your Personal Goals
  • L Live, Love and Laugh 
  • < Take Time for Yourself
  • H < Heal Your Soul 
  • < Yearn To Care For Yourself As You Care For Others

Checking in at 250 lbs on September 1, 2012 means that I have gained 25 lbs since arriving in Florida in March and have put on almost half the weight I lost 10 years ago.  There is no blame to go around, just a stark reality of a life lesson learned.  The Helen Keller statement is so true! “Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood.”

A lesson learned is just shelf-life if the lesson is not put into practice! 

In order to be a Healthy Caregiver, I have no choice but to take better care of myself.  There is no better way than to own it, realize it and blog about it.  As The Bow Tie Guy transforms into The Healthy Caregiver;  the lesson that  I have learned is that I have to practice what I preach.   As a proponent of a holistic life of body, mind and spirit, I must apply those principles to myself, too…DUH!

What good am I to myself and the one I care for if I allow my  health  to fail?   

I hope you will continue to join us on our new Caregiving journey!

Remember…

…We might have Cancer; but Cancer does not have US! 

 Survival rates for esophagus cancer. (01, 2012 11). Retrieved from http://www.cancer.org/Cancer/EsophagusCancer/DetailedGuide/esophagus-cancer-survival-rates

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On Borrowed Time?


 

I decided to try something different this evening with my blog post… I am using Dragon Naturally Speaking to post my blog this evening.  I have come to the realization that I am much better at speaking than I am at typing: this just might be a better way for me to communicate my thoughts, feelings and emotions as I moved forward with ‘The Purple Jacket.”  So far so good!

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This past week,  The Little One had his appointment with the oncologist. What was amazing about this appointment was that I did not feel the need, nor did I have the time to go to the appointment with him.   Now the ‘Mother Hen’ in me worried all morning about the whereabouts of “The Little One” yet  I knew deep down inside me that could handle the oncologist, handle the drive down to the office and be independent.  He did not get to be 81 without some form of independence!

Just as is the primary care doctor was encouraged at his progress, so was the oncologist.  It just so happens that the oncologist and the primary care doctor share the same office space;  this convenient for sharing information between staff and doctors.  The other benefit of this location in that the chemotherapy treatments is on the site, too! This  setup has made easier, not only for “The Little One”, but for all the patients that these physicians see on a regular basis.

The oncologist continued to spread good cheer,  good health and well-being for “The Little One.”  As I mentioned in my last blog post, the oncologist had projected 3 or 4 months to live after the initial diagnosis and subsequent treatments.  While he is pleased to be proven wrong, statistically speaking, the cure rate for esophageal cancer is one of the lowest there is.  If we are going solely by the book, then 3 to 4 months is correct.

It is understandable why a diagnosis like this would be attached to such a short lifespan.  That being said,  we forged ahead mindful of the pitfalls, yet striving for the best possible results.  We never want to rule out hope!

 I guess what amazes me the most about this visit to the oncologist is not the fact that we all recognize that the little one has far exceeded anyone’s expectations; it’s why is the doctor felt like he has to end this positive visit with the words…”You know you’re on borrowed time!”

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Granted I was not there for this conversation, and I have no reason to doubt what “The Little One” has told me in regards to this conversation.  Yet, I am not sure what the purpose of comments like this does for a patient, for a caregiver or for the physician themselves?  Throughout this whole ordeal, we have taken a positive approach to dealing with the effects of cancer. We could sulked, we could  have  played the blame game, we could have gone into denial… However, what good would that have done for either one of us?  That’s just like saying…”you know we’re on borrowed time.”  

I do not claim to be a doctor, I do not claim to be a clinician, but I do believe that I understand how a positive outlook and healthy communication  can have a soothing and  healing effect on the mind, on the body, and of the spirit when dealing with critical health issues.  When you think about it,  we are all on borrowed time, yet does a cancer patient really need to be reminded of that?

Photo Credit: Pinterst

The healing power of body, mind and spirit plays such an important role in overcoming physical (and mental) illness.   To use a sports metaphor, the best defense is usually a good offense.  The best way to deal with a diagnosis of cancer is to be as realistic and honest as possible.  Our best offense was to plunge full force  When I look at this comment from the oncologist in this light, I can understand it.  Yet to presuppose a diagnosis without the addition of hope, only leads us to despair.  Reality is painful enough, more so without the effects of hope!

Sometimes Just Being There is all we need

Through this experience, I am convinced that one of the key tools in transmitting hope and reality,  is the ability to be an empathetic communicator.    Calmly… Empathy transmits hope and reality.  I don’t think that there is anymore that we can ask for when dealing with the stark reality of Cancer or any other disabling illness.

You see…We Might Have Cancer…But Cancer Does Not Have Us! 

Photo Credit: ‘The Bow-Tie-Guy”

 

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