The problem with the type of cancer that can be managed-but-not-cured is that you never quite know when to update the masses that the patient is on an upswing and doing well. It’s occurred to me recently that I’m always quick to let everyone know when we’re riding that cancer train, but not always quick to update when the ride has gotten a little smoother.
Time to stop talking in metaphors, I suppose.
Nate is doing well. One and a half years after two very rough liver embolizations, and fifteen months of monthly Sandostatin injections with little to no side effects, I feel like it might finally be safe to say (yikes, is it ever safe to say?) that he’s doing well. The numerous cancerous tumors in his liver have shrunk significantly in size, he’s had an increase in energy, and he’s been active and engaged with life. Fishing? Every chance he gets, no matter the weather. Ice skating? Frequently. Good thing older kiddo is taking lessons and wants to be at the rink as much as humanly possible. Hockey games? Attending whenever he can. Work? Oh, yeah, I guess he’s been doing a lot of that, too. (But who wants to hear about work?)
He’s living. And for that, my friends, we are overcome with gratitude.
Additionally, as of this week, he’s been given official disability status as a veteran from his exposure to burn pits in Kuwait in the 90s, which means we now get financial assistance from the government in managing his cancer. This is exceptionally helpful as every injection (you know, the injections he’ll get monthly for the rest of his life, those injections?) costs $27,000 before insurance is factored in, which means we meet our deductible every year in January. So this turn of events is a welcome one.
Is it the government admitting, “Hey, sorry we’re probably responsible for your cancer?” Or perhaps it’s just their way of saying, “We might have had something to do with this. Oops.” Or maybe it’s, “Damn, this diagnosis sucks and we’re sorry it happened. Thanks for serving your country; we’ve got your back.”
I don’t know. I don’t think we’ll ever know. Regardless of the meaning behind it, the financial help is significant and we are positively, incredibly, overwhelmingly grateful for it. (Did I include enough adverbs there? Writers aren’t supposed to use them, right? Well, I’m really grateful. So there.)
So that’s the update. Nate is doing well. I typed it. Despite my fear of jinxing everything, I put it out there for all to see. Because you’ve all been with us on this journey. And you deserve to know. That bumpy train ride seems to have taken us to a port. And the seas seem fairly calm. Smooth sailing. At least for a while.
Thank you for being here with us, friends. Your love and your support has always kept us going.