Location: one hour from Suffolk, Rockingham, and Scarborough, United States

I'm one of the co-authors of Point of Hopes, Point of Dreams, and The Armor of Light (which, contrary to some reviews is NOT a Points novel). Proud member of CoastLine SF, Piscataqua Obedience Club, and admin for Horseboard.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

This Spring...

So different from last spring. Last year, I had stereotactic radiosurgery on April 14. At that point, I had been on steroids for 2 weeks. I would be on them until mid-May.

Funny, I was able to function and work fine with the tumor; it was starting on the steroids and their effects that put me on short term disability, more, I think, than anything directly associated with the radiosurgery.

I even went back to work for several days following the radiosurgery because I hadn't been informed that my disability had been okayed.

But I needed the time off. I was tired, and the damn steroids caused myopathy in my legs, making it hard, very, very tiring to walk. They also caused muscle cramps in my legs such as I had never experienced before. My leg and foot would literally lock up on me.

I spent the time curled up on the chaise in the bedroom, reading. Sounds terribly Victorian, doesn't it? Except for the Yukon Gold potato chips, a passion for which was another side effect of the steroids.

Basically, I missed spring last year. I was indoors much of the time from mid-April to mid-May. We went to Provincetown for our 25th anniversary, and there was so much I couldn't do, that we usually did. That I was able to do when I was going through chemo, damn it!

That was then, though. This is now. This is 2005.1. It's April 28, and I just got in from a good long walk with Ms. Vixen on which we both got totally soaked in a sudden, drenching downpour. It's spring, and all my seedlings are up and waiting to be transplanted. I'm seeing the trees leaf out this year, as opposed to last, when I emerged, blinking, in mid-May, and the leaves were all fully unfurled. This is Spring 2005.1, and last week, we enjoyed walking the Robert Frost Interpretive Trail, in Ripton, VT. and going to the UVM Morgan Farm. This spring, I'm mobile!

The MRI last week was very good. The tumor is less than half the size it was when we treated it, smaller even than it was in December. We have downright oodles of space between it and the brain stem now, so Dr. Hartford is conferring with a couple of his colleagues, weighing any risks of doing stereotactic radiosurgery again -- one full dose of the radiation, right on the damn tumor. The fractionated radiosurgery we did delivered a total of 20 grays in 5 treatments. Biologically, that's the equivalent of 12 grays, a very conservative dose. The idea with stereotactic, and with the room we have now (oodles, but the way, translates into millimeters), is to hit it with the full 20 grays, all at once -- which irresistibly reminds me of the Bottle Rockets song, "Radar Gun," with the line "milowatt seconds on maximum output will dusty that puppy!"


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