Much to the surprise of all, I've made it to another year! Actually, I don't think anyone else is surprised, but it amazes the heck out of me. In all honesty, when first diagnosed I don't think I would have given any odds at all about being here in January 1, 2003. This will be a short report because there is nothing to report. Medically, things are about the same as the last time I wrote. Back to the doctors next month, but that will be after our trip to the Keys for the Winter Star Party and, right now, the WSP takes precedence over ANY medical stuff. We had a great Christmas at the Greene household and hope our gentle readers did as well.
Had my chest x-ray and barium swallow last week
and everything continues to look good! Nothing unusual was found
in either test. I will see Dr. Moore tomorrow and Dr. Yaffe on
3/13, but do not expect them to have anything disconcerting to
We bought a trailer! Candace and I have been kicking around the idea of buying a camping trailer for several years and we finally did it. I plan on using it for star parties (have been sleeping in a tent or the back of the van for years; now, would like to be more comfortable at these events. Plus, Candace and I would like to overnight at some of the beautiful state parks in Georgia - this will give us the opportunity. Here's a picture of the new addition to the family:
It's a 25' Outback that appears to be set up with everything we need for comfort out in the wilds: stove, fridge, air conditioner, furnace, flush potty, queen sized bed... We're both very excited about the possibilities that it can open up for us. Look for a new camping page to open up once we get it out and get some pictures!
I am SO far behind updating this site! Not
that this is a bad thing for it usually means nothing medical
is going on and that's a good thing! As I said a few paragraphs
up, I was going to see both Dr. Moore and Dr. Yaffee in February
and March. Saw them and there was nothing to report other than
"Everything looks great!" Well, it's that time
again and went in yesterday for a CT. No report on that,
but we are eternally optimistic that it will show clear. Have
to go for an endoscopy in June and then I see Dr. Moore again.
After seeing Dr. Yaffe in March he put me on a 6 month
rotation, so will not be visiting with him again until September.
Will post the test results as soon as I hear them. Medically,
my goal is to get through July without having the be hospitalized!
Last year at this time we were having all the problems with pleural
effusions and atrial fibrillation. Last hospitalization was over
the 4th of July weekend and I have NO intention of going into
the hospital again any time soon!
Away from the medical front - Candace and I have had a couple chances to use the new trailer and we love it! Spent Memorial Day weekend camping at a state park (Hard Labor Creek) about 50 miles east of Atlanta and I took it to a star party in Mississippi in April. It is so wonderfully comfortable after sleeping in a tent and the van. We also spent a delightfully restful two weeks at our place in Florida in April. It was the first trip where we really didn't have a lot of work to do on the condo, so once Candace finished painting the porch and I completely a few odd jobs - we were able to spend out time doing nothing and we did it with vigor! Our next jaunt will be a trip to Colorado in June to visit my sister and brother-in-law. Elaine and Robert have visited us in Atlanta on a couple occasions and it's our turn to return the visit. They have a few nights in a B&B planned in Estes Park and Granby and we are looking forward to seeing the mountains.
I have been lax in keeping this web page updated, so here's the latest: I will be seeing Dr. Moore - the surgeon - next week for a routine checkup. Have my last CT and endoscopy results in hand and both show completely normal. I will post what the good doctor says next week and then, if all goes well, I think it's time to bring this saga to an end. We don't expect anything but good news, but we are always ready to hear something bad. Unless we hear bad news, this page will continue on as a sequence of "everything normal" and that's pretty unexciting. Believe me, we LIKE unexciting!
This doesn't mean we won't continue our association with the esophageal cancer community - far from it. I'm sort of the unofficial EC volunteer for St. Joseph's hospital here in town and we will be hosting the Atlanta EC picnic again on October 4th.
I'll let you know the decision when I write up my visit with Dr. Moore next week.
Saw Dr. Moore today and the news continues to be good. The only problem he sees is a surgical artifact where my part small intestine has moved up into the chest area - with lungs, heart, stomach and now - small intestine, it's getting pretty damned crowded in there! While not a problem right now it can become one in the future that would require opening up the abdomen and pulling the guts back down to where they belong. We won't worry about it until it starts causing me trouble - probably difficulty breathing. There is always something exciting on the EC Express!
And now, it's time to move on.
One of the facts of life for cancer survivors is that doctors will remain a large part of our existence until the day we finally shuffle off this mortal coil. That may be true, but we don't have to allow them or cancer to take over our lives. Candace and I discussed terminating this diary and getting on with the rest of what time we have.
For those who have been along for this ride, thank you for your well-wishes, thoughts and prayers. They have been appreciated.
For those of you fighting this terrible disease, our hearts are with you always.
We love you all!