"Our soul must perform two duties. The one is that we must reverently wonder and be surprised. The other is that we must gently let go and let be." Julian of Norwich

...Cancer teaches both!!!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Keeping Our Fingers Crossed!

Chemo Radiation Finished!

I've just finished the last of 25 treatments of radiation for a final delivered dose of 4500 centiGrays of absorbed radiation.  With the end of radiation I am also finished the side program of chemotherapy.  The radiation effects continue for the next several weeks but I should start feeling better tomorrow now that the daily chemo is finished.  My radiation oncologist says that now we "keep our fingers crossed".

Dr. Paul Klimo Retires

It is fitting that as I finish this last round of treatment my principal oncologist of the last seven years, Dr. Paul Klimo, works his last day.  He is moving into a very well earned retirement.  He will be missed by his many cancer patients on the Northshore and throughout BC.  I will personally miss him very much.  He has been a steady presence to me throughout this journey and I shall miss his compassionate and competent care.

Seven Year Journey

Here is a quick look at this cancer journey so far, by the numbers...
  • 7 Years  of living with stage 4 colon cancer.
  • 5 major operations involving about...
  • 45 Hours of surgery, and...
  • 100 Days and nights in hospital.
  • 40 Treatments of radiation.
  • 100 Weeks of chemotherapy.
  • 6 Weeks of intense rehabilitative therapy.
  • 5 Pet scans.
  • 5 MRI and/or Bone scans.
  • 10 Chest X-rays.
  • 20 CT scans.
  • 100+ Blood tests.
  • 20+ Doctors: GPs, oncologists, surgeons, physiatrists, urologists, etc.
  • 50+ Lab techs, radiation techs, physio-therapists, occupational therapists, etc.
  • 200+ Nurses: chemo nurses, O/R nurses, homecare nurses, etc.
  • 7 Years of living with cancer.
  • 2,500 Days of prayer and hope.
  • 60,000+ Hours of Living FULLY... with fingers crossed!
All I can say is "Thank God for Medi-care".  And Thank God for the awesome community of colleagues, family, and friends who have walked with us every step of the way.  I cannot imagine enduring the trials of this journey without you all.  Thank You. Thank You.  Thank You.

With the completion of this program I am now finished all of the treatments related to my most recent recurrence.  I will update this blog periodically as any new information becomes available.  But for now it is mostly a focus on recovery.  

    The Underwear Affair 2011

    Pam and I are again joining with others to participate in "The Underwear Affair".  This is a BC Cancer Foundation fund-raiser to raise funds and awareness for cancers that "hit below the belt".  "Bringing awareness to down there-ness" is the theme.  The options are a 10k run or a 5k walk.  Pam and I will be doing the 5k walk and are walking to raise a few thousand dollars between us.  Please sponsor either one of us with a donation if you are able to.

    For information and pictures of last year's event click here.

    Thank You!

    Peace and blessings... Rob; in Vancouver

    "Life is not a matter of holding good cards, but rather, 
    of playing a bad hand well!" 
    Robert Louis Stevenson

    "The Underwear Affair" 2010


    Kathryn in MN said...

    I'm so happy for you to be done with this round of treatments. This last surgery, chemo and radiation had to be the toughest yet, and you made it! Did you ever think you could get through all you've been through in the last 7 years at the start of it all? Isn't it amazing what we can do with the help of God, family and friends, when we have to?

    Good luck with the Underwear Affair - we do the Get Your Rear in Gear 5K here for the same cause, and Relay for Life (American Cancer Society) for all cancers. It is so important to spread awareness of screenings and prevention, and to help fund research for a cure.

    Enjoy your summer as you get stronger and further out from radiation and chemo effects. And with your primary oncologist retiring, I take this as a sign for you to stay NED! Retire the cancer too, and be more than "well enough!"

    You are an amazing person with such inner strength and calm. I truly appreciate your words of wisdom and support during my almost 2 years living with colon cancer. Thank you. I look forward to the day when I can write that I've been successfully living with it for 7 years too.

    Love to you and your family, and congratulations on getting through a long haul (not just this current recurrance, but the 7 years so far). I pray for recovery from side effects, and that you will continue to have the strength you need for whatever comes your way in life.

    Anonymous said...

    Hi Rob, My name is Liz and I have been reading your blog for a while now. I am happy to see that you are finished with chemo and radiation, I wish you a fast recovery from the effects and a N.E.D. stamp on your health record.
    That said, since your blog is a great resource for someone going through cancer I wanted to reach out to you to see if you were interested in a new online social support network (that I am the community manager of!) called I Had Cancer. I would have emailed but its not listed on the site, I apologize.
    It is a new and free social support network focused on connecting people based on experiences with cancer so that they can easily communicate with one another and share information. I would love to tell you more if you are interested, so please let me know! Because I was so struck by your writing I would love to send you an early-access pass with extra invites for others you may know going through this journey.

    Either way, thank you so much for your writing. Take care and best regards.