Friday, January 9, 2015

I'm clean!

An email from my surgeon this evening held thrilling news, that last Friday's biopsy was negative.  So I suppose herewith ends the blog "From Here to Healed." I am healed and a very happy camper. Thank you all for everything.

Much love,

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Anxiously awaiting

Tests to date have been negative. I love negative! December CT and PET scans showed that the 4.3-cm tumor has shrunk to 10 mm and is probably scar tissue. A colonoscopy was negative. Now if I would only hear negative things about last Friday's biopsy, I would be happy indeed. 

There's no question but what my energy is back. Over the last two days, I spread almost five yards of redwood bark over our newly re-landscaped front yard. It looks great and we are thrilled that the job is almost done. 

It's foggy this morning but will likely burn off. Rain, please!!


Sunday, December 28, 2014

My well-studied bod

Just a quickie today: I had a PET scan earlier today, which looked at me from head to abdomen. On Tuesday I will have a colonoscopy and on Friday the biopsy. Surely that will provide plenty of info for a diagnosis! That's a lot of fasting too. 


Thursday, December 18, 2014

Much better news yesterday

On Wednesday, Al and I trundled down to the SF Kaiser to meet with their top colorectal surgeon. Based a physical exam, he said I looked great. He suspects the remaining mass mentioned in the CT report is just scar tissue. (It turns out that having a real doctor interpret the report is far better than depending on a total neophyte like me. The report was full of medical jargon in addition to the non-native speaker challenge.) A biopsy on January 2 will verify. Fingers crossed!

Needless to say, we at the Walter house are much cheerier and more in the Christmas spirit. There are far too few days remaining. Get that shopping done!

Much love,

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Not healed yet

I just returned from a wonderful week in Boston with my sister - and snuck in two days in NYC with my niece, who went down with me on the train. Macy's, Bloomingdales, Tiffany, Fifth Avenue and Rockefeller Center Christmas lights, and dinner with Dan and Aimee. It surpassed all expectations. Sister Maggie and I polished off my last day in Boston with the Colin Firth Pride and Prejudice. The definitive smoldering Mr. Darcy. It was quite the week, and my energy is returning in a very big way.

However, while I was in Boston I got the results of my first post-treatment CT scan. I suspect the radiology report was written by a non-native speaker, so it's tough to understand. But I think it's fair to assume that "Less defined the previously 4.3 cm rectal mass, but persistent soft tissue mass with markedly symmetrical with thickening and luminal narrowing of the rectum extending to the adjacent distal sigmoid colon..." is not the best possible news. A more detailed PET scan is scheduled for December 28.

Al and I are seeing Kaiser's top colorectal surgeon in SF this Wednesday, so I hope to know more then. In the mean time, many thanks to everyone for your continued good thoughts and love. 

Happy shopping! 

Much love,

Saturday, November 29, 2014

The holiday season begins

A belated happy thanksgiving to everyone. I hope you had as good a day as we did. Al's daughter Robin and her family joined us, so we had just seven. But wonder of wonders, I worked all that day in the kitchen and around the house and felt AOK. I chose to do some yard work rather than shop on Black Friday and again felt really good, until I crashed at about 6 pm. My energy seems to be returning. Hurrah!

I have begun decorating the house for Christmas. We will have a full house on the 27th with all of Robin's family, including Jessica, three-year-old Anastasia and we hope husband Andrew from Spokane, and Dan and Aimee from Brooklyn. It will be crowded and noisy and perhaps hopelessly fatiguing, and I can't wait. 

Only 26 shopping days until Christmas. Get out there, kids. Do your part for the recovering economy!


Friday, November 14, 2014

Two steps forward, one back...

This has been a week of ups and downs. I have a new retirement date, December 2, which is good news. But I'm discovering that my energy isn't what I keep hoping it is. I drove to Livermore on Tuesday for some pre-retirement meetings and lunch with a good friend. Back in Stockton I had an appointment with an orthopedist about my painful left hip. She had me get an x-ray and then saw me again, which extended the day to 5:30. I had put in an 8-hour day, my first in months. I slept 11 hours that night and awoke still pooped. I had a lunch scheduled for Wednesday with a friend in Stockton and another trip to Livermore planned for Thursday for lunch. I had to cancel both. Grrrrr.... Patience has never been my strong suit, as Al can attest. 

This week will end on the way, way up side, however. On Sunday Al and I leave for most of a week in Mendocino. Rain is forecast, which is AOK with us. Hot tub in the rain, anyone? We are taking lots of books and DVDs. Mom will stay home, and she has a Phoenix friend who will be with her for several days. I suspect we all will enjoy our privacy and peace and quiet.

And today is my birthday! As baby sister Maggie has reminded me, I'm now eligible to sing the old Beatles' song "When I'm 64." Of course when the song came out, none of us could imagine being that old. But look at us now, older and better than ever.

Much love,