This is just a note to say that as of today, 6 January 2013, I’m starting a new blog, which will focus on the day to day aspects of dealing with a very serious disease, from the viewpoint of the non-diseased one. (See, I continue to avoid the ‘caretaker’ word).
For those new to kape (Kate and Peter Noerr), you can have a look at the previous blog (which I’ll attempt to link in at some future point, as well as design this blog, etc.): http://kapetripcanc2012.wordpress.com.
Over the next few days I’ll be setting the blog up properly, learning how to add pictures (I never did in the last blog), adding color, and so on.
My reason for this blog? Simple, I think: 3.5 years ago Peter was diagnosed with a very aggressive and rapidly spreading form of prostate cancer. Over this time period, he’s been through every therapy that currently exists, including surgery, chemo (twice), and most recently, radiation, plus a wide variety of the newest drugs, and immune therapy. Nothing has worked for more than a short period of time. We’re now on the latest drug, Xtandi, and so far so good, although it’s only been about 2.5 months since starting it.
So, I have a lot of experience in dealing with living with someone with an extremely serious disease. I want to share what I consider to be practical advice, perhaps some ‘words of wisdom’, thoughts on what to do, and what not to do, how to best inform yourself, how to deal with the vast array of medical personnel, and generally try to create a picture of what happens on a day to day basis.
I’m sure everyone is familiar with the ‘don’t sweat the small stuff, and it’s all small stuff’ mantra/book title, etc. Well, day to day living with cancer consists of a huge amount of small stuff, with occasional excursions into big stuff – as in bad news because the disease has progressed more, so now what happens, and so on.
And I do sweat the small stuff, in a way, as it’s so very important to allow Peter to focus on trying to heal, and sometimes just trying to keep going. However, it’s also important to judge when to go out and do things, even if it’s difficult for him, to keep his focus looking outward and forward.
For those familiar with the previous blog, as well as for new readers, we’re now living in Durham, North Carolina, and Peter is being treated at the Duke University Cancer Center, whereas previously we were at the UCLA Medical Center until Thanksgiving, 2012. We made the trek east primarily because we both need the support of being near family and friends; I worry about needing help when there’s a crisis, or just whenever; Peter worries that if something happens to me, he’ll be on his own, and just plain worries about me. So these worries are significantly alleviated by being here in Durham, although I must say that my strongly independent nature does sometimes make it more difficult than it needs to be!
More in future days, probably not daily, but frequently. The initial posts will be relatively long, as I think I’ll need to clarify why I’m saying this or that; and why this or that is important, based on history, experience, and so on.
So long for now.