So much has happened; don't really know where to start. I'll revert to my business mode of bullet points for the sake of brevity.
- Mid October thru mid November I spent in-patient at the NIH (National Institutes of Health), the first participant in a new immunotherapy clinical trial--a protocol for a specific genetic mutation from HPV related cancers. I fully intended to document the process here, because it's really quite fascinating and because I really believe that immunotherapy is the future of cancer treatment. But the reality of the experience was that I felt so crappy for so long that I couldn't even stand to look at a computer screen, let alone try to relay the experience in a positive light. Suffice to say that when I finally returned home and recovered, I literally felt like I had died and come back to life. That being said, the tough road is one I would gladly travel down again because it gave me HOPE! And although subsequent scans have determined that the wonderous new T cells within me weren't quite enough to cure me and won't save me from the fate of this disease, I have no regrets. I feel better than I have in a long time and because of that (my) cancer is not always front and center in my consciousness.
- My nephew and his wife lost their precious little boy during the holidays. Cancer robs another family of their loving circle; hopes and dreams die an agonizing death when a child dies. The grief that these young parents are dealing with is heartbreaking, and has rocked my faith in the grace of a heavenly entity.
- Days, weeks and months have gone by and I stand as a bystander watching my husband go from a robust male to a shadow of what he used to be. It's painful to watch and as much as I try to be an advocate, it's frustratingly fruitless. I have come to realize I still love him very much; I'm scared of what life will be like without him, and I wish that we had done more to be the perfect mates to each other earlier in our many years together.