Friends and Family,

It was all smiles yesterday when Genevieve and I met with my oncologist before my infusion today. First was my own report to the doc: I feel better, I’m breathing easier, I’m coughing less, and when we drain my chest tubes, it’s obvious I have far less fluid in my lungs.. I reduced my pain meds by 75% in the last three weeks, and I am not having daytime pain. For the past four nights I have finally been able to sleep in bed, rather than mixing it up between my recliner and our sofa. It’s almost incomprehensible that two months ago I was on oxygen, and needing a wheelchair to get around the hospital. I’m so grateful to be where I am now.

Next, Dr. Sanborn gave her report to us. In short, the bloodwork numbers that were too high are dropping, and the numbers that were too low are rising. There’s a sense of normalcy within sight!

Dr. Sanborn said that seeing the smile on my face made her day. Considering that just two months ago we were discussing whether I was healthy enough to survive chemo, getting to this point feels pretty miraculous. At that time I relied more on determination to keep going than I had optimism. That, and the love and support of Genevieve and all of you, my friends and family. If not for all of your support, I wouldn’t have turned the corner. Thank you for all you do!

Of course, I’ve been doing my part, with some help. I’ve been mall-walking an increasing number of laps every day with my good friend and brother-in-law Lorin, right up until the worsening pandemic caused us to rethink the plan. As a result, for the past five days I’ve gone back to walking up and down the hilly streets in my neighborhood for an hour with Genevieve. It’s far more physically challenging, and I’ve found I’m up for it. Also, at the suggestion of my palliative care doc, I’ve been using an inspirometer (4X/day, fifteen reps) to clear out the junk in my lungs and improve breathing capacity. It’s working!

In a few weeks I’ll have another CT scan and we’ll see how much more the cancer has shrunk. It’s the first scan I have looked forward to for nearly a year.

I’ll update you after the next scan. In the meantime, keep smiling

This post originally appeared on Dann’s Cancer Chronicles on January 13, 2022. It is republished with permission.