Thursday, June 20, 2013

Still Standin'...

Okay, I know I haven't been too diligent with the blog over the past month. Not one new post here, but really, the past few weeks have been a bloody nightmare on too many fronts. So, the "blog" didn't even make it's way to "second fiddle" stage.

It was refreshing to be on the receiving end of a clean bill of health from Dr. Bachand during the first week of May. Things really seemed to be falling into place on the health side, which I can assure you makes the "mind" perform much more efficiently. Then, unfortunately, the shit hit the fan during the morning hours of May 11 when the clubhouse at the Shannon Lake Golf Club was torched.

My phone rang a little before 5AM. Now, most of us probably would agree that if your phone rings at that time of day, the news is probably not good. When I was told the clubhouse had burned down, I chuckled at first, then wondered aloud, "yeh, so what's really goin' on?"

Alas, the building had gone up in flames, and so did much of the hard work we had put in over the course of the winter to get the facility ready to rock 'n roll. In reality, John Jacoby is the guy who really busts his ass during the off-season. It almost seems ritualistic to me, watching his focus on preparation during those dozen weeks between the golf course closing in late November and opening in early March. Really, while many folks are enjoying their winter homes at that time, I am quite confident they have no clue what kind of effort is being undertaken at the Shannon Lake Golf Club. Working without distraction can be a beautiful thing...

But, I digress. The fire at Shannon Lake created a couple of problems for me. Firstly, implementing a short-term operating strategy was not something we anticipated. Geezuz...four weeks into it and there are still many uncertainties. Secondly, I got sick almost immediately, initially from inhaling the smoke and chemical fumes from the site, which manifested into other kinds of grief like a chest and sinus infection. Yeh...good times. Admittedly, physically, due to the infections I pretty much still feel like shit these days, sniffling just about all day long.

On the upside, I'm tipping the scales at about 175 pounds. I am absolutely enjoying every minute of little tasks like being able to tie my shoe laces...both feet...without having to take a break after doing the first one, and without huffing and puffing when I'm finished. There are folks who insist on reminding me about my weight, how noticeable it is that I'm thinner now, suggesting they think I don't look healthy. Really...I lost 18 pounds in six months, and haven't lost another pound in the past four months!

I get that the commentary is borne out of concern, but what would happen if I walked up to a fat person who had just been ill and said, "geez, you don't look well, you should try and lose some weight." I'd get chastised in about two seconds by folks who'd felt I'd insulted them...

What people have to try and realize is I had pictured myself as rather a fat bastard over the past many years. So, you know, I'm kinda diggin' the rarefied air at 175! Sure, cancer treatment and the effects are not a preferred weight-loss program, but I can now see parts of my body without having to stand in front of a mirror. All in all, it's a nice change for me...

The Health Side
Went through the paces this week with regard to my dental situation. The horror stories associated with the treatment I went through include removal of all teeth for those with serious dental issues. Can you imagine? Having all of your teeth removed BEFORE treatment?

I was fortunate to go into all of this with pretty sound dental health. The chief concerns post-treatment relate to how a dry mouth might lead to problems with decay. Thankfully, despite the loss of some salivary gland function, everything looks okay as far as the dentist is concerned.

There is significant scar tissue along my jaw on the right side and I have noticed how hard the soft-tissue along the right side of me neck has been of late. I understand this is probably "here to stay", as the soft tissue has been butchered and damaged by radiation. On the left side of my neck, everything seems normal, according to the medical team.

Moving forward, it's all about maintaining good dental habits, which includes the use of fluoride trays everyday. It's just part of the "new normal".

Updates & Check Ups
CT Scan on July 25.
Consult with Dr. Bachand at the BC Cancer Agency on August 1.

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