April 21, 2014 at 5:48 pm #80191lainySpectator
Dear Matt, hooray for no more wound caring! I can still remember what a great day that was for Teddy too. I loved that living life by Bonnie Mohr and am going to steal it for my Facebook. It is all so true! Still wishing you all the best and please do let us know how you are progressing down the road. Live, laugh, Love!April 21, 2014 at 5:39 pm #80190
I got cut short a bit on my previous reply due to work…
Latest medical update as of March: Clean scans and blood work – no recurrence. Decided not to do any adjuvant chemo.
I’m honestly still in shock and wish I could wake up from this nightmare. I’m coming to terms with my mortality – which I guess most of us do, eventually. All of us except those taken swiftly and/or by accident at a young age. It’s giving me more appreciation for the little things in life and a better perspective, for sure.
I reached a new milestone for me this Easter weekend – my surgical wounds healed to the point that I no longer need to care for them so I took my first bath in a tub (vs shower) since before my surgery in January. That was nice. Not having to spend time twice a day unpacking and packing open wounds is nice too. I’m sure my wife will appreciate me putting away all of the wound supplies and getting our bedroom looking less like a hospital room.
Basically, I’m trying to just live fully, as if none of this has happened to me. My emotions have improved a lot but I still have triggers, songs, memories, thoughts, etc. that cause me to fall apart and into tears.
The Gift of Life Transplant House in Rochester, MN has this on the wall and I’m finding it a good daily reminder. I hope others here like it too. It’s called Living Life – by Bonnie Mohr:
Life is not a race – but indeed a journey. Be Honest. Work hard. Be choosy. Say “thank you”, “I love you”, and “great job” to someone each day. Go to church, take time for prayer. The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh. Let your handshake mean more than pen and paper. Love your life and what you’ve been given, it is not accidental – search for your purpose and do it as best you can. Dreaming does matter. It allows you to become that which you aspire to be. Laugh often. Appreciate the little things in life and enjoy them. Some of the best things really are free. Do not worry, less wrinkles are more becoming. Forgive, it frees the soul. Take time for yourself – plan for longevity. Recognize the special people you’ve been blessed to know. Live for today, enjoy the moment.
This forum is GREAT – I really appreciate all the perspectives, information, feedback, and love that everyone here has.
-MattApril 21, 2014 at 2:30 pm #80189
You’re so sweet to ask! I’m well.
After my recent check-up at Mayo I’m trying to just live as normally as possible and enjoy life. I’m back to working full time. I’ve been thrilled to focus again on family and things other than my health.
My oldest son turned 19 on March 28th, my daughter turns 16 on April 30th, my youngest son turns 6 on May 23rd, and my third son turns 8 on June 29th.
We’ve got vacation plans to head to a family house on a lake in NY in June and July.
I’ll go back to Mayo in September for another check-up and I’m sure the scan anxiety will creep back up before then.April 21, 2014 at 2:00 pm #80188iowagirlMember
Matt….just checking in with you…wondering how you are.April 3, 2014 at 7:57 pm #80187
YAY, Matt as others have said congrats on this wonderful news. Enjoy and try not to worry about the “what ifs.” Hugs and blessings.
PorterApril 3, 2014 at 2:09 pm #80186januaryMember
What wonderful news! Enjoy!
JanuaryApril 3, 2014 at 1:27 am #80185kvollandSpectator
WooHoo Matt, sounds great to me. Clean scans, normal Ca 19-9 those are all things we love to hear.
KrisVApril 3, 2014 at 12:57 am #80184marionsModerator
Kudos to you, Matt for making a decision best suited for you.
MarionApril 3, 2014 at 12:49 am #80183lainySpectator
YIPPEE MATT, music to our ears, kudos and great job. You are so right the prep is nasty compared to the colonoscopy! Good luck on that tomorrow!April 2, 2014 at 11:49 pm #80182darlaSpectator
That is wonderful news! Thanks for sharing it with us. Good luck tomorrow with the colonoscopy, then go on and enjoy your life for the next 6 months and the 6 months after that and the 6 months after that etc. I know that everyone has to make there own personal decision about adjuvant chemo, but I tend to agree with you on the too much risk for too little benefit. Enjoy!
DarlaApril 2, 2014 at 10:58 pm #80181
Just finished my day at the Mayo Clinic and I’m elated.
Blood work is all perfectly normal. CA 19-9 is 11. They did CT scans w contrast from the chest to the pelvis and everything looks great. Clean scans! Normal post-op healing and recovery and no signs of recurrence.
I’m just about due for a colonoscopy so I’ll do that tomorrow just to put my mind totally at ease. If it weren’t for prepping of that test tonight I’d be out celebrating.
I’ve decided againt adjuvant chemo. I personally see too much risk for too little benefit.
I will come back to Mayo in 6 months for another follow up. In the meantime I intend to make them the best 6 months of my life thus far.
-MattApril 1, 2014 at 3:45 am #80180marionsModerator
I think that it is important for us to recognize that diagnoses and subsequent treatments for this cancer are bound to contribute to emotional and physical distress. This disease happend unexpectedly, we are not prepared for it and feel powerless in not having prevented it.
Add to it the subsequent treatments i.e. surgery which in itself is a traumatic event or any of the other available treatments that cause us to be anxious, unwell or even very ill and the answer is clear, we are under duress.
Many will be struggling with upsetting emotions, frightening memories, or a sense of constant danger. Others may feel numb, disconnected, and unable to trust other people. It is said that when bad things happen, it will take time to get over it.
Recognition of the situation is one – repairing the damage it has caused on an emotional level – will take some extra work. I believe that expressing the conflicting emotions with counseling, speaking with others (those that truly understand) and granting ourselves permission to say the things that many cannot bear to listen to, is an important step in the healing process.
MarionMarch 31, 2014 at 1:54 pm #80179
Sorry it’s hard using proper spelling and grammar from my phone!March 31, 2014 at 1:52 pm #80178
Hi Matt. I completely understand how you are feeling. I too get very anxious about the different feelings or sensations in have had since resection. I often tell myself that the doc reminds me too that my body has been through major surgery and that it’ll take lots of time to feel back to normal. In fact in might never feel exactly the way i used to. I am almost 10 weeks post op and I have days that much better than others. I’ll be thinking about ya and wish you wonderful scan results and hope younger some anxiety relief this week after your appts.
PorterMarch 29, 2014 at 3:00 am #80177lornadooneSpectator
Hi Matt, Best of luck next week. I pray that your scans are clean and that you hear everything you need to give you some comfort. The anxiety and stress that comes along with this horrible disease must be over the top. My boyfriend Matt also had successful resection in January. However, he opted to take the chemo with the very strong recommendation of the surgeon and oncologist due to the high recurrence of this cancer. My boyfriend has also been a bit of a worrier especially regarding his health. I say a bit of a worrier but in all honesty he has major anxiety and in this situation it is warranted. I do believe that staying positive has so much to do with the healing process and i try to remind him everyday that everything will be ok and to stay positive. I know it is easy for me to say…right? God bless you and your family and please keep us posted.
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