Sitting here in Las Vegas enjoying the reprieve of subarctic temperatures in central Illinois. Just realized today that I have been out of treatment for my stage 4 bladder cancer … Continue reading A little worried and then an angel appeared..
While conventional and experimental cancer treatments are done, the treatment that remains is prayer and my expression of gratitude for this life so far….
Getting my bag packed to travel back to the frozen tundra called Illinois. Several things going on, including a scan to determine how effective the Keytruda treatments have been, a long-awaited court case hearing, Thanksgiving and Christmas with family.
Concerning the Keytruda, at last scan my lung tumors appeared to be shrinking; however, I’ve never felt like this before! Very happy to wakeup everyday, but recently I appear to be having a somewhat negative side-effect from these treatments. A short time ago I noticed an itchy rash on my arm and when I mentioned it to my oncologist I found out about a thing called Keytruda rash. All things considered, an itching rash is better than being six-foot under, but the rash has jumped to my other arm, my hands and now my feet! I’m thinking its time to visit my podiatrist , a dermatologist and spending some quality time getting scanned.
I actually never thought I would make another Christmas so that is good news. As I stood in church this morning, with pain shooting from the blisters on my feet upwards, I had a strange thing happen. Rather than focusing on the pain I focused on releasing myself to count my blessings. I certainly don’t find this pain to be amusing, but it beats the alternative. I kind of feel like an old car that needs some work done to it!
Looking forward to visiting with my grandchildren and also on realizing that this Thanksgiving there is something to be thankful for.
Number one, I’m still here. Number two hoping the doctor can give me a little pain relief and finally praying the Keytuda is working! A few side-effects are a small price to pay for this thing called life.
Consider yourself lucky as things can always be worse. I used to worry about money and what everyone else thought, now I realize that these were the last things to worry about. Time to focus on what you are thankful for. While you are at it, think about the thousands of people around the world whose problems are far worse than yours. Refugees, homelessness and those with more serious medical problems make the consideration of a little pain to be worth the ultimate gains we can experience with a positive attitude.
My prayers are with the children that have been afflicted with serious medical issues before they can even grow up. So if you are feeling bad about something, try thinking that it could be worse and your job is to appreciate what blessings you might have.
One more thought today, when you think about someone who has treated you, or your family unfairly, remember this. You have no obligation to redeem those who have done you wrong, forgiveness is something for you, those who have done you wrong will pay the ultimate price as you move forward.
Release your anger and work on just eliminating that source of irritation or anger. There is no rule I have found that requires us to swallow our pride and act like nothing has happened. Quite the opposite, leave that person in your rear-view mirror, and remember sometimes you can’t always fix stupid.
A final thought for Thanksgiving and thankfulness. I thank God that my wife has helped me to focus on all things positive and also shown me a thing called faith. Never thought I would look forward to Sunday, really everyday.
Praying for a good scan and thankful for one more Holiday season!
Vegas street artists
Eat, drink, explore, drink, explore some more!
Early morning visit to The Vatican.
Miles and miles of streets historic places great food and fun. Enjoyed this stop and recommend it to all who can make the journey.
London approach landing at 10:17am last Sunday. Same old sights, improved cuisine. Maybe a better budget than when I was here last? Who’s on first! Great hop-on hop-off tour of … Continue reading London, check
Friends often say, “How do you really feel? Man You look good!” (ie: Thought I would look more dead-like?) When I first think about a response, it is far easier … Continue reading If I’m lying, but I’m not ….
Last week, after my latest CT Scan, I asked the doctor about a slightly itchy rash on my elbow and also on the back of my neck. His answer was pretty direct as he said, it’s not gonna get any better Harry. This Keytruda trial is working now, and as long it does great. When, or if, you stop responding to the Keytruda, your only other option is likely chemotherapy. (ie. stop the Keytruda, kiss your ass goodbye!) In other words, the Keytruda trial therapy will continue every 21 days for the remainder of your life, period.
Besides the life sentence to inject this stuff forever, it was a pretty good scan result this time. Tumors in my lungs are continuing to shrink in both lungs and my kidneys.
So as I’ve always said, it’s all good until it isn’t. Gotta keep a positive attitude here and thank God, and everyone praying for me. So my reality is that I’m now closing in still on being alive nearly two years after the six month prediction of my demise. (death)
Concerning the itchy rash on my arm and neck, I’ll take the rash. The only downside is, according to Mick Jagger, It’s gonna take an ocean of calamine lotion, but I’ll take that!
Morale of this story: It is all good, until it isn’t. Enjoy your day, keep your blind faith and live your life as if it might end tomorrow.
All in all a pretty good prognosis with continued therapy every three weeks or so. Headed back to Las Vegas in a week or so, then a short trip to Washington DC.
Then in an effort to my prove my theory that it’s all good until it isn’t, While it’s still good I’m soon off to the races, so to speak.
I picked up a couple of round-trip tickets to London🇬🇧and figure I can randomly jump around Europe for a few weeks. Those who know me also know I am somewhat OCD when it comes to creating an agenda of when, where and how I might enjoy everyday to a maximum return of fun. (ROF)
Also think I’m going live a little like Tom Petty’s song, Time to move on, time to get going, what lays ahead I have no way of knowing.
Not really sure of what lays ahead here so I booked a ticket from London to Athens🇬🇷, then to Rome🇮🇹 and then a nice stay on the Greek Island of Santorini. After a little serious chillin like a villan, a few nights in Amsterdam🇳🇱 then back to my sweet home Chicago and on to Las Vegas. If anybody has a tip for excellent cuisine along the way please drop me a note!
I’m packing light, a backpack, a Nikon and an American Express card. I am fairly certain my wife will enjoy shopping at the massive Harrods with its 330 plus departments and over one million feet of shopping fun, only a short jaunt from our hotel. Our other main stop(s) will be at a few of the over 330 Fuller Brewery Pubs around southern England. I’m feeling a jacket, t-shirt who knows.
Watch for this blog to turn into a travel blog for a while, frankly I’m a little tired of thinking about cancer, the related cancer treatment industrial complex and my next CT scan. Ready for a relaxed few weeks of exploring, and eating!
On a sad note more than a few good friends have recently lost loved ones to this thing classified as cancer. Every time I hear of someone passing on it’s hard to have a little anxiety concerning my own destiny . I attempt to control this anxiety with faith and an expectation of improving health.
No matter how much anxiety I experience in this life, a faith in God and the holy spirit will ease your pain. Faith does work for me and that might be the best thing that’s come out of my stage 4 bladder cancer.
So stay tuned and stick around for some fun, for a change! Time for a little european vacation. I’m sure it will also result in some great pictures of the sites and of course food. Happy Trails my friends, until we meet again.
Turns out your most valuable asset is a friend, before money for certain. Then comes the magic question, who are your best friends? Generally our best friends are the one’s … Continue reading More important than money!?!?!