"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!!!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Bad News!

It is always difficult to be the bearer of bad news about ones own health.  But there you have it!  So here it is… 

A CT scan this past week has confirmed that cancer has returned to my sacrum.  While it comes as no great surprise, given the increasing pain lately, it still comes as a great disappointment.

The recovery I was enjoying over the Summer and early Fall included some of my best periods of health and energy I have enjoyed for the past three years.  Pam and I were even beginning to indulge in something we’ve rarely done over the past eight years, anticipating and planning for the future!  Alas!  Such dreaming is not yet to be.

The situation as it currently stands is that I am able to walk only very short distances. I have a wheelchair in the condo and am able to use it for short local outings (accompanied).  I am also limited in terms of how long I can sit upright.  For the most part my days are bed-ridden unless broken by an appointment of one type or another. 

Treatment Plan:

With the retirement of my Oncologist, Dr. Paul Klimo, from the Lion’s Gate Clinic, we have decided to consolidate my care at the BC Cancer Agency.  The Vancouver Centre of the BCCA is a comprehensive cancer care facility where I will have chemo, radiation, pain management, and palliative care all under one roof.  My new medical oncology team is Drs. Cheung and Albarack.  Pam and I met them on Wednesday and came away with a strong sense that whatever lies ahead, we will be well supported by compassionate and competent medical care.  

Over the next few weeks I will have another scan, a meeting with my radiation oncologist, a meeting with the pain management team and another appointment with Dr. Albarack.  By then we will have a pretty good idea of what sort of treatment options are, or are not, available to me at this stage. 


Over the past years I have enjoyed frequent visits from a wide range of family, friends, and colleagues.  These visits have often included scenic walks in Stanley Park or along the Seawall; lunch dates, picnics, or movies; and great conversation.  Unfortunately, many of these activities are now precluded by my mobility and sitting limitations.

I would appreciate weekday visitors but we need to work around the parkade renovations, which currently subject my condo to a relentless 8-hr barrage of jackhammering.  The contractors do usually have a predictable break for about 45 minutes at 2:00pm.  So if you are interested in a short visit and that time slot works for you send me a note.

Wheelchair walks will be a possibility when the weather improves as well.

Peace and blessings... Rob; in Vancouver

"Life is short.  And we do not have long to
gladden the hearts of those who walk the way with us.  
So let us be swift to love.  And let us make haste to show kindness." 
Henri Amiel