An enormous exaggeration, of course, but I had a phone call from Tony Stefani, President of the San Francisco Firefighters Cancer Prevention Foundation (www.SFFCPF.org) of which I am a board member (currently in absentia), two days ago. Tony successfully battled a form of kidney cancer a few years ago, and went on to establish the Foundation, which is making extremely good progress. His call was to update me on his latest possible cancer scare. He’d gone for his regular checkup, and found there was a possibility of prostate cancer. However, he’d just come from a visit with his urologist, and all is clear, which is great news.
Of course he asked after Peter (as do all the board members), and then talked about his (Tony’s) struggle with weight and strength during and after his various cancer treatments. He said he’d gone down to 132 pounds (and this was a very fit firefighter), couldn’t eat, didn’t want to do anything, was too tired to move – sounds familiar? He said it took him 6 months to climb out of that morass, and to feel he was on the road to getting well. This cheered me enormously, as it’s so very encouraging to hear from someone who has experienced exactly this sort of thing, and completely understands the issues.
So I’m determined to continue the calorie intake process for Peter (2300-2500 calories is a lot when you don’t want to eat, you have an extremely sore throat from the radiation, and nothing appeals anyway), and to make sure he’s walking and possibly extending that to a stationery bicycle and/or treadmill in a short while.
Here’re more day to day thoughts: forget about the fact that it’s a long slog ahead in terms of regaining weight and strength; forget about the fact that the disease is accelerating; focus 100% on today’s small victories. A gain of 1/2 pound is great. A somewhat longer walk is exciting. The sore throat is improving. These are what count, and what make up the day to day experience for us. And outside our world of cancer, there was a big storm in the night – the Triangle area actually has weather!