I’d considered writing some philosophical rumination on the past couple of months’ developments, but that would be completely out of character. The river doesn’t run that deep here at the Tower of Power.
I’m just wrapping up the first month on a potential nine-month chemotherapy schedule from Princess Margaret. Yup, that’s right. Not cancer, but AL-amyloidosis, which is linked (not sure what that means) to multiple myeloma. I started oral meds and one weekly shot on February 15th.. It’s rare – about 4000 cases in Canada – and it took about 6 months and a boatload of specialists to diagnose, starting with what we thought was aspirin-related bruising around my eyes and eventually a swollen tongue. I’m considering getting them Team Chris sweatshirts. The folks at Princess Margaret Hospital have described the possible side effects of this, and have pointed out they should be relatively light given the nature of the doses, which are the same as what I would get for multiple myeloma. At least we’ve managed to schedule things so that I can hopefully continue to shoot events on weekends and early on in the week. And keep the remaining two hairs on my head. So far, except for one exception which we think may have been a bug, I’m doing well. Low energy for the first couple of days and a mild headache on the day of the chemo are about it.
It’s serious, but I like and trust the doctors I have, so that’s a good thing. If all goes well this will likely go into remission, though apparently, for this, the odds of recurrence are pretty likely as well somewhere down the line. There is no cure, just management.
Dipping my toe in that philosophical pond, I’m disappointed that I seem to need additional repairs every year or so. The heart surgery results were terrific, and now, as far as stamina is concerned, I seemed to be operating somewhere near the level I was before the operation, though it depends on how much sleep I get. The partial thyroid removal 7 months later was a bit more challenging, but looking back, a lot of what I thought were the effects of that were probably early stages of the current adventure. There’s no one to blame – nor would I want to – for the length of time it took to diagnose this. It’s obscure enough, with random symptoms, that very few people would know what it was offhand anyway.
Thankfully, being retired, I can pretty well go with the flow as far as getting rest and pacing myself are concerned. At least I still have my boyish good looks. And some great friends who are offering to help out if needed. Hopefully that won’t be the case.