User-agent: * Allow: / Lymphoma, Family, Food, and Diabetes: Adapt, Improvise, and Overcome

Friday, June 11, 2010

Adapt, Improvise, and Overcome

Some people are surprised that I needlepoint or maybe I should say that I know how to needlepoint. I take it up off and on. I come by this honestly – my father taught me to do it when I was a kid. I still have some of the early pieces I did. When my father died I found a map of the United States that he started in the early ‘60s. He completed a lot of it but got frustrated because there was a lack of blue yarn to complete the oceans. He put it down and never got back to it.

I’ve decided to complete the map. Each strand of yarn has three threads and you take one thread, double it, and use that to do the stitching. I can’t exactly match the color of the 50 year old blue yarn but I can get close. If I use one strand of the old yarn and one strand of the new yarn it is pretty close in color and hard to tell the difference. I have to adapt, improvise, and overcome.

Chemo and needlepoint have some similarities. As I understand it chemotherapy was “discovered” as a side effect of the use of mustard gas during World War I. We’ve come a long way since then. But the mixing and matching of cocktails to the cancer, stage, dose, schedule, etc. makes chemotherapy part science and part art. While there are standard protocols there may be more than one good option for treatment based on its known advantages and disadvantages. And while oncologists select the best treatment regimen for their patients, there is no guarantee that an individual will achieve the desired response and that can alter the regimen. But we all need to adapt, improvise, and overcome at some point or another.

I had a scan last Friday. It showed things are getting smaller. My oncologist actually said he was “very pleased”. I asked how we would know if it was gone since I have two types of lymphoma, the slow grower and the fast grower – think of it as a collection of cells not a single thing. His answer is that we won’t know for sure without doing a biopsy. Neither he nor I are big on that because it means opening my chest up. There are a limited number of routes to the location and the surgeon has used two already – there aren’t a lot left. We’re saving the big one for later. But after my treatments are over we will basically just stop. If any of the fast grower is left it will start growing quickly and we’ll adapt, improvise, and overcome. If it doesn’t grow then we have the dormant slow grower that I’ve had in the past and I’ll just continue to live with my old friend.

I’m due to complete my last cycle the end of September and I hope to complete the map by then too. Nice to have a deadline.

Eat Good Food, Be Kind, Tell the Truth
Click below for the collection of recipes or for an easy to print copy of a single recipe.

Collection of Recipes

Chunky Applesauce: A slow cooker recipe seemed appropriate.

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