Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Year of Cancer in 12 Steps

1 pneumonectomy
2 trips to Houston
3 PET scans
4 brain MRI's
5 weeks of radiation
6 treatments of carboplatin and taxol
7 CT scans
8 days at MD Anderson Cancer Center
9 visits with Dr. Scheinberg
10 minutes of Alimta
11 days in the hospital
12 trips to Atlanta Cancer Care
Countless xrays, blood tests and IV's.

And a partridge in a pear tree.

Memorial Day Weekend 2009

Beautiful Amelia Island.

There wasn't a whole lotta sun but there was a whole lotta fun!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A Poem

Jeans are blue
Khakis are tan
I bet you wanna know
The results of my scan

Some nasty juice
I had to drink
With nothing to eat
I was at the brink

Then it didn't go well
There was pain in my arm
The kind, sweet tech
Almost sounded an alarm

Then wait and wait
And wait I did
Into a teeny weeny
Funk I slid

Then Dr. D
Called on the phone
All is well
No reason to groan

My arm is fine
My lung is too
Hip hip hooray
A wish come true

During this week last year
I was taking some tests
PETs and CTs
I could hardly rest

One year ago
The shoe did drop
But I have beat the odds
And I will not stop


Friday, May 15, 2009

With Apologies to Novick, Eric and Rachel

As the one year anniversary of my cancer diagnosis approaches, some thoughts:

One year ago, my diet consisted mainly of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, high quality protein, and chocolate.
Today, I eat hot dogs, convenience foods, Chick-fil-A and chocolate.

One year ago, a drink before dinner meant martini.
Today, it means V-8.

One year ago, I avoided the medical community like the plague.
Today, I owe my life to David Rodriguez, Paul Scheinberg, Dan Dubovsky, Nancy Wiggers, John Moore, Roy Herbst and a host of other physicians, nurses, PA's and medical professionals.

One year ago, I was vigilant in taking steps for the prevention and early detection of melanoma, and breast, colon, ovarian and cervical cancer.
Today, I have lung cancer.

One year ago, MD Anderson was just a cluster of buildings in Houston.
Today, I have a patient number.

One year ago, I stepped on the scale and hoped it would show that I lost weight.
Today, I step on the scale and keep my fingers crossed that I did not lose any.

One year ago, I felt empowered by my roles as attorney, law partner and boss.
Today, I feel empowered by something completely different.

One year ago, I was disheartened as John and I struggled to find a high school for Brent that could meet his needs, which we were told would be impossible to meet in public school.
Today, Brent is finishing his freshman year at Milton High School with honors, thriving and happy.

One year ago I believed that if I had to be admitted to the hospital for any reason, that I was in trouble.
Today, I believe that if I have to be admitted to the hospital for any reason, that I am in trouble.

One year ago, I took so much for granted.
Today, I don't.

CT scan on Monday.
Stay tuned for results.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

It was not an easy week. There was more fatigue and coughing than usual. Too much fun last weekend, fighting a cold or allergies like everyone else, or something from the dark side? I will likely find out the week of May 18th when I go for my first set of scans since my visit to MD Anderson and the declaration of NED. The week had its highlights, however, especially for Andy P. He was admitted to the NED club, with highest honors. There was other good news, good meetings and good encounters, which keeps the spirits high. Not sure, though, if No. 1 son turning 15 and obtaining his learner's permit within hours of his birthday qualifies as good. The jury is definitely out on that one.

Speaking of high spirits, despite a bold attempt to ruin my Mother's Day Weekend, Sunday was a delightful day. From special cards, to fresh bagels and cheese eggs, to spending the afternoon with husband, son and Attila the Roz, I could not find a way to be unhappy. I could only see sunshine and feel love.

And since Steve Beagle doesn't hold the patent on humor, here goes:

A suburban mother's role is to deliver children obstetrically once, and by car forever after.
Peter De Vries

I want my children to have all the things I couldn't afford. Then I want to move in with them.
Phyllis Diller

God could not be everywhere and therefore he made mothers.
Jewish Proverb

My mother's menu consisted of two choices: Take it or leave it.
Buddy Hackett

Love to All.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Take Me to the River

It could not have been a better day. Everyone was there. Old friends, new friends, family, doctors, dachshunds, nurses, colleagues, kids, good paddlers, great paddlers, and Ann and Ruth. Everyone.

There was a little rain, a little sunshine, great sandwiches, amazing cookies, and a lot of love. Love for the outdoors but mostly for life.

It was a stellar effort by Amy Waggoner and Laura Sidelinger with great support from the city of Roswell. Speaking of Roswell, tucked snug and dry in a compartment in my boat was the following:


WHEREAS, Lung cancer takes the lives of more Americans each year than breast, prostate, colon, liver, and kidney cancers combined; and

WHEREAS, Former smokers and people who have never smoked comprise the majority of new cases of lung cancer each year; and

WHEREAS, Seventy percent of new lung cancer cases will be diagnosed at late stage, with a 5 year survival rate of 15%; and

WHEREAS, Early lung cancer diagnosis and management protocols exist, yet have not been embraced as the standard of care; and

WHEREAS, Funding for lung cancer research falls far short of funding for research on other, less fatal diseases.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, JERE WOOD, as Mayor of the City of Roswell, do hereby proclaim May 2, 2009 as LUNG CANCER AWARENESS DAY in the City of Roswell, and urge all citizens to do what they can to educate themselves and protect their families.

In witness whereof I have hereunto
set my hand and seal this 2nd day of
May, 2009.


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