randy_byers: (yap)
[personal profile] randy_byers
Yesterday was a milestone of sorts. I saw an oncologist (not my new neuro-oncologist, but a sweet old medical oncologist who is filling in now and then during a transitional period), and he gave me the okay to start my twelfth and final -- FINAL! -- round of chemo. Yes, friends, fourteen months (nearly fifteen) since the tumor was discovered, the treatment phase is almost over. Amen, and hallelujah, brothers and sisters! I took the first dose of the chemo last night, and I'm not really feeling the effects yet. No doubt I'll soon enough be feeling fatigue and nausea. In the meantime, it's hard not to anticipate the celebration to come.

So I've started thinking about how I want to celebrate. One thing I've been dreaming of for a long time is getting back out to La Push for some nature therapy, and fortunately I have a friend who appears willing to take me out there. I may even be able to drive a little on this trip. (I haven't driven at all since the tumor was found, although I was legal to do so once it had been six months since the last seizure.) Other than that, should I throw a party? If nothing else it would be a good excuse to clean my room, which is another thing I haven't done since the tumor was found. It's pretty gross in here! So that's a good possibility, maybe in early April.

In late April I'll be going to Corflu in the LA area (arriving Thursday, departing Monday), which will be my first convention since Sasquan in August 2015. A week after getting back from that I'll be flying with my brother and his family out to a couple of islands in Micronesia. We're going to stop in Pohnpei to visit the mysterious stone city of Nan Madol -- the site, amongst other things -- of entry into the subterranean world in A. Merritt's The Moon Pool. Then onward to Yap for a couple of weeks. These are bucket list things to do. A last trip to Yap was the first thing I thought of when I started thinking about a bucket list.

Budget permitting, I hope to visit friends on the East Coast later in the year, and I hope to travel to Belgium and the UK in 2018. When I'm not traveling, I hope to be writing. The first writing project is to finish rewriting my TAFF report and to finally get it published. Another thing I'll probably work on at some point is to pull out all my LJ and Facebook posts about post-tumor life and see whether/how they read as a story. I had been thinking about putting together another collection of my fanwriting, but that seems less pressing at the moment.

Some of you may be wondering whether my treatment will really be over once the chemo is over. It's true that I will be given the option of continuing to wear the Optune. I've been told that it will be my choice, but I'll need more information and guidance before I make a decision about it. It's definitely a ball and chain to deal with, and so far there isn't enough data to draw any clear conclusions about how much additional time it would give me, especially as the way it's being used has been evolving. Anyway, I'll be getting an MRI in the middle of March to establish a post-chemo baseline, and I'll talk to my neuro-oncologist then about the Optune and quality of life.

There is still a fairly long list of practical/legal matters I've been putting off until after treatmen: a will; a living will; designating someone with power of attorney for me and someone to make medical decisions once I'm incapacitated. For now, however, I'm just going to think about celebrating the end of a long ordeal. Yippee-ki-yay!
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