As a very close friend said when I told her about Deuces' death, "End of an era." I suspect, though I have no way of knowing for sure, that he died of a broken heart. The three brother cats mourned Yvette's loss. When Limerick died the remaining two seemed to bond more closely. I would often come through to find them curled up together like yin-yang symbols.
I miss him a lot. Several weeks ago I said a final good bye to my friend O'Keefe. He is the second to die of the three cats that I brought to Canada with me. He was the talkative playful one. His unflagging enthusiasm for the cat toy and the laser pointer kept me well entertained in this pandemic lock-down.
Thinking about O'Keefe's larger-than-life personality, I needed a way to say farewell. He was after all my lock-down companion. Hence a eulogy for a cat.
When I started running people told me that it was a mental challenge. No, I thought, it is a physical challenge. Over the last few days though I have been thinking a lot about that. Jess Movold in an article in “Runner’s World” asked a question I’ve been thinking about. “So then why do we do [run]? For me, it comes down to this: Running trains me how to hurt. The end of a hard workout is a benchmark that tells me how much hurt I can handle. It gives me the confidence to hurt a little more the next time. And a little more, and a little more.”
I have received a wonderful deluge of Christmas cards this year. Pandemic I expect. And they have made me feel a wee bit guilty.
So I took the opportunity to produce a calendar for you. It is in a pdf format which should allow you to print. I printed mine two to a page but I don't think I can force this on you.
About two months ago, The Canadian Cancer Society approached me. A cancerconnections.ca moderator was taking a digital story workshop. She needed a guinea pig to coach on how to produce a digital story. She asked if I would be her student. How could I turn down a chance to tell my story? And digitally was a bonus.
January 19 - GP referral to Breast Clinic
March 6 - Mammogram and Breast Ultrasound
March 20 - Breast biopsies
April 3 - Biopsy results (IDC breast cancer) CT scan and bone scan
April 4 - referred for fine wire lung biopsy (First indication of lung cancer)
April 13 - EBUS - for lung biopsy (because fine wire was taking too long)
April 30 - Biopsy results - First meeting with medical oncologist. Lung cancer Stage 3B - Breast cancer on the back burner.
May 11 - PET scan.
Let me get the easy good stuff out of the way first and then you don't have read any further if you don't want to.
My meeting with my oncologist on Monday was less than 8 minutes. The suspected tumour has actually shrunk. Not disappeared but gotten smaller. His suspicion is that the nodule is inflammation and not a cancer tumour. So another three month reprieve. My next scan is at the end of January.
Running and Writing
Is there such a thing as too much of a good thing? Maybe. I've been learning some lessons from two recent experiences. I have written a novel. And I have signed up to run a 5K race. (Remember I have lung cancer?) I tell a lot of people what I'm up to and the response is almost disbelief. Both of these accomplishments happened one small step at time. Let me show you how it works, if you will.