July 2, 2009: I visited with my oncologist , Dr. Jahan, on Monday of this week. I had a short list of aches and pains to relate as well as catching him up about my hope to move into Maitri. I showed him my project plan with the tasks I wanted to complete arranged in categories. He raised his eyebrows, "You are really organized. This is good."
Then he asked, "What's are your days like? What do you do? " I told him, "I get up between 7:30 and 8:30. I reach for a peach or an apricot and decide which striped shirt to wear. Then I'm out the door. I get work done in the morning, and I usually have lunch with a friend. I like to visit over good food for an an hour and a half. Back to work and home for a nap by mid-afternoon. I wake up in an hour or so, then read until dinner. I enjoy cooking my own food. Sometimes I go out in the evening. I have dinner with a friend or hear an opera. Usually I stay home and after dinner more reading and emailing until bed time."
"You haven't mentioned pain or fatigue," he said. I agreed, "I haven't had fatigue for a couple of weeks. If I start to become uncomfortable I take a morphine pill or two. That stops the pain in about twenty minutes. But I don't need pain breakthough very often. Maybe once or twice a week."
"You have a a lot of quality of life," Dr. Jahan concluded, then continued. "If I offer you chemo, it's going to diminish this quality you have." I nodded my head. "Right. I do have a good life right now." Dr. Jahan closed with, "Plan to come back in two months. If anything happens between now and then, call me immediately." As I mentioned in my Monday blog, we then proceeded to talk for another forty minutes about restaurants both French and domestic. And recipes....
So that's my strategy. Currently, I have a very functional life where I have a lot of choices and not too many limits. It will not always be this way. But it is this way for now. As the week has progressed, I have lived through more basic days like the one I summarized for Dr. Jahan. I've gotten a lot done at work. I've had fine connections with friends over lunch. I've had some meals and tasted flavors that were memorable. I sat in Zuni this afternoon with my friend Betsy as we strolled our way through a small pizza, half portions of pork tenderloin with heated Bing cherries. A dessert of three tiers of meringue wafers layered with creme chantilly with golden raspberries and a Santa Rosa plum sauce. We enjoyed two hours of sunlit bliss. It will not always be thus, but it is this way right now.