“Everything looks good!” said the “new to me” oncologist. “You’ve been doing well for a LONG time.” Okay friend, knock on wood, find a four leaf clover, and thank God when you make a statement like that. It IS the truth. I HAVE been doing very well on Lorlatinib. In metastatic cancer world, it HAS been a long time. 546 days on Loralatinib on that appointment day. I am grateful to the doctors, nurses, researchers, and all who send positive energy and prayers. Hope, I always have hope.
My appointment was great! This doctor was very interested in my health and in the work of the ROS1ders. He raved about how impressed he is with the ROS1ders advocacy work. And, it is always nice to see Dawn, the clinical trial nurse.
It was a different trip though because Dan couldn’t go. He recently had a total hip replacement and no long rides for him just now. My sister drove me, while the “children” helped Dan with chores, etc. My sister began this Dana-Farber relationship with us nearly three years ago, traveling with us as a note-taker and support when we first started our cancer journey. I’m glad she was able to hear, “Everything looks good!” Even my labs were all good.
So. Well, my 3 year “cancerversary” just passed. While I seldom really stop thinking about how fragile this string I’m hanging onto is, I think we’ve made a very wonderful new life for ourselves. And, this winter for the very first time ever, we are both at home every day. And yes, it IS a good thing we love each other. We are loving being together. I’ve been busy caring for the goats and dogs, filling the wood stove, and keeping the ice and snow off the doorstep.
A new hobby is is also keeping me busy and happy. I’ve spent my adult life simply knowing I couldn’t draw, paint, etc. While I see myself as creative minded, I don’t see myself as an artist for sure. Well, to my surprise – like most things – if you put your mind to it and practice, even I can learn to draw, paint, make fun art with mixed media, and Zentangle. Yes, it’s true. I’m having great fun – not just crafting, but learning to draw, learning to use watercolors, learning lots of mixed media techniques. And, I’m no longer afraid to pick up a pen and use it for something other than writing. Who knew this would be so much fun. I don’t even mind sharing it, no matter what it looks like. I’m having fun and learning, while playing and practicing. Seems crazy, but it’s true.
One more fun thing has happened. Years ago, as part of a senior thesis project at Goddard College, I wrote a children’s story. At the time Dan really wanted me to see if I could get it published, but the one place I sent it to rejected it. I tucked it away for the someday grandkids. Well, welcome to the world of self-publishing! I’ve worked with a publishing company and illustrator, and will soon be the published author of a children’s book. (Further details when it actually comes out!) I wasn’t sure I’d live to see it done. Seriously. In May, it was to take 3 months, and here we are in January. Long time for someone living with metastatic lung cancer. Looking hopeful though. Good thing. It’s on my life list to get done. (You can smile now. I am.)
Finally, if all goes well I won’t need to go to Boston until early April. Twelve weeks! You can find me here in our winter home on the mountainside, finding joy in the everyday every day. (It’s easy to do!) Feeling grateful, joyful, peaceful, and as always – hopeful.