Saturday, October 6, 2007

What Counts

I haven't written in a few days. The inevitable end of Phase I has been with me since Wednesday of this week as my med team simply watched my daily lab numbers move towards normal. Cancer treatment runs on a calendar, it's probably the only time in my life that I've adhered so rigidly to one, but as it turns out I'm right on schedule. I entered UCH on the 09/06, I'm departing on 10/06, the end of phase I.

I'll do this next round of preparation from home receiving treatment as an out patient every other week until December. It will be another heavily calendared event accompanied by a very strict regime of oral medication designed to rid my body of chemo in a precise number of hours after each infusion. I assume that some of this medication will fortify other parts of my system against chemo, while making others more receptive. It will take a few days to become familiar with each.

However, that's not until the 15th. Until then I have this week and weekend off to readjust to being in the larger world and my new home. Zach, Erica and Kate come for a visit next weekend and my sister will come in on the 14th. She's my donor and we'll spend the next week together as out patients and tourists. She's never spent any time in the city so this is going to be fun. I plan to do everything that a tourist would do- from double decker busses to observation decks, to lake tours. Given that she thinks that Phoenix traffic is bad, I believe I'll just take her on a few expressway trips as a point of contrast. Any way MJ and I plan to have some fun- it will be wonderful to be home and perhaps become the "big lug" in the living room. Actually, there's little I'd like better than a "honey-do" list.

Lastly, this has been an amazing experience. Writing these entries, talking/writing to people I haven't seen in years, having a steady round of friends be with me on a nearly daily basis bringing food, books, cd's, dvd's, but most of all themselves, fully alive, funny, interested and generous in spirit and time. Feeling loved is one of the most important emotions we can have in our lives. In times like this it probably is more important than the complicated chemistry and its rigid application, while it may make you better, it doesn't fill your soul and heart with love and a sense that you matter. That's what this experience has done for me. Cancer is a very focusing event. You can let it be an event driven by fear or elevated by love. Mine has been the latter and this is a small and very inadequate thank you for bringing me so much, for telling me directly that I matter and have mattered, for being honest and open and full of the spirit of life and the elixir of love.

Thank you, we'll be talking in a few weeks.

Arnie

17 comments:

Sandi said...

Arnie,

Congratulations on being "sprung" today, and successfully completing Phase I!!!!

Don't Postpone Joy!

Love,

Sandi

Rhonda said...

Yahoo! Arnie! Enjoy your freedom like crazy and I'll be thinking of you as you continue down the road.

Rhonda

mark drozd said...

Bravo, Arnie! Hard to beleive it's been a month. Harder still to believe all you've been through. But your disposition give us all strength and hope. Savor everything, my friend. And thank you so much for sharing your amazing thoughts and insights. They are powerful and wonderful. Kind of like you.

Best,

mark

David Kwo said...

Arnie - glad you got through this first round, you sound good and I know that is simply part of your character and toughness...there's no way this can be easy. Thinking of you.

David
P.S. As God as my witness, Rayna got a birdie on the second hole (Par 3) @ Wilmette a few weekends ago.

lost in the wilderness said...

Arn, My thoughts, love and confidence are with you.

Chris C. (yes, it's C. again...)

Jan Klingberg said...

Arnie,

Glad to hear that you're now home. Your journey is allowing you another pause at an overlook--the view out here must have an interesting perspective after your 30-day confinement. I have recently started reading Mom's Marijuana by Dan Shapiro. It's an account of a young man going through some of the same medical treatment as you are. And it is a good read--funny, sad, poignant. Between your blog entries and this book, I have a new understanding and appreciation for the challenges of cancer treatment.

Enjoy the coming weeks.

All my best,
Jan

marcus said...

Welcome home!

I can't tell you how fortified we've all become based on your condition, attitude, recovery and posted insights. You mean the world to us, and with every heartfelt posting, you share the world with us.

Be good.

marcus

Kim said...

Arnie,
Congratulations!!! So glad you are home. Hope you enjoy the visit with your sister. Missing you here.

Kim

PS: Is it really going to be a few weeks before the next post? Hope not.

Anonymous said...

Arnie,
I'm so happy for you. You're finally home!
I miss you!

Love,
Albena

Sharon Heil said...

Hi Arnie,
I'm glad you're making progress and you're on your way to Phase 2. I also kind of envy you that you get to place tourist in your own town. One recommendation: The Fern Room at Garfield Park, designed by Jens Jensen.

Please keep writing your blog. I've tossed Proust aside in favor of it.

Sharon

Anonymous said...

hey Father.
Well by this point I expect you to be sprawled across the couch with a HUGE bowl of ice cream resting on your stomach while watching some form of golf/snoring. I know you're psyched to be home but don't forget to relax! And think of all the new rooms to conquer! so much for your 12x14 ft. square!

congratulations. I'll be seeing you in a few days! love ya.
eri

A. H. Goodwin said...

Eri,
Can't wait 'till you get here- really looking forward to this weekend. Be safe.
Love,
Dad

John G. said...

Good to see you are on schedule Arnie. a new development for you. I am off to Germany with Monica for a week. I will checkm back when we return. We both are praying for continued success in your treatments

Much Love

John and Monica

mick said...

Congrats and welcome home Arnie. It's been a privilege to accompany you on your journey through this blog. You continue to inspire me daily. I'm so happy to hear the first phase is past you now.

Enjoy your time at home with your family. I think your sister may enjoy the Edens, it's a daily treat for me.

Best,
Mick

Anonymous said...

Phase I: Done. Nice. And I like the plan...go romp it up in the city of big shoulders! Hell, I bet you'll discover it like never before. Enjoy every angle.

Rock on,
-Steve

Tim G said...

Arnie, I went to Whittaker Woods with the boys this year and found about a dozen balls which I think had been lost by our own guys in the foursome in front of us. I am glad you are out and having some fun. I am off soon to Florida and then Myrtle Beach for five weeks. I will chip a few one-handed in honor of you. All the best-as always. Tim

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