My CO-1686: Second Anniversary!

Oh dear! Has it been two years already? Time does fly when one is having fun.

This blog and my participation in the CO-1686 clinical trials started simultaneously in March 2014 when all I had under my belt was zero experience in blogging and clinical trials. As a matter of fact,  I have deleted the maiden post dated March 14, 2014 from the blog archive because I suddenly realized it made no sense.  It contained only the title “In Two Weeks I’ll Know More About the Biopsy,” followed by space as big as the great outdoors.  It happens when a future awesome blogger only knows how to tweet.

While creating the blog in 2014, I discovered that WordPress requires a title, so without hesitation, I named it “Cancer Laughter.”  Looking back now, I realize it was so presumptuous of me.  Cancer Laughter! What was I thinking? What if the trial drug wielded debilitating side effects that would obliterate the laugh lines off my face? What if the trial honchos yanked me out because of progression after the first CTscan?  Well, honestly, those thoughts just never occurred to me.  My mantra being  Learn something new everyday, I’m like a horse with blinders on. All I could think of at the time was that I’ll have fun learning something new in the clinical trials; fun researching new knowledge; and more fun learning blogging and sharing it with anybody who cares. Fun, fun, fun!  Sure enough, since the blog christening moment, for the most part, it has been fun.  I have found entertaining things to learn and write about –  first six months in the University of Colorado in Aurora; second six months in UCLA in Santa Monica, and twelve months in UC in Irvine.  Situation comedy abounds at reception desks, in examination rooms, emergency rooms, urgent care, and in the car playing Miss Daisy doing lottery puzzles with her loving Octo at the wheel.

Now, as I celebrate my CO-1686 second anniversary, I wonder if Motivator Extraordinaire Napoleon Hill, author of the book Think and Grow Rich,  might have been on to something when he wrote, “What your mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” Oooommmmm. Or maybe I’ve just been fortunate so far.

I  have never read Napoleon Hill’s famous book but when I was a 25-year-old engineer babe in the Philippines, I dated a successful businessman who talked about the book incessantly I might as well have read it myself.  Obviously, it had impacted him so profoundly and positively that he felt a need to brighten my youthful existence with its highlights. Being a hot chick in seduction mode full throttle at that time, I listened raptly to the well-intentioned Casanova, gazing at his eyes the way Nancy Reagan did to her Ronnie, and all the while I was thinking: Napoleon Hill – that’s the dude I should be dating. Moments ago, I googled Napoleon Hill’s birth date and found out that he was alive and in his mid-80’s those days. Right Octo, wrong time!

Of course, it was not all laughter the past two years. Unwholesome events that precluded smiles came and went. There were no cancer issues, but holy “tamale,” did I encounter other maladies from which senior babes with lung cancer should already  be exempt: urinary tract infection, eight months of hyperglycemia and Metformin-induced loss of appetite, overactive bladder, bacterial infection, and shingles. But I enjoyed writing about them too soon after I had staggered out from the ashes. Each experience brought me and the blog followers – or maybe just me – precious knowledge.

I consider lost appetite (LA) the worst part of the journey of the last two years. Yes, loss of connection with food, not shingles, not infections.  Food strategies, cooking, the motions of eating, and cleaning after remnants of midieval feasts consume a huge chunk of my day. Without them, during the LA episode, I might as well had been dangling by my toes inside a stacked pantry, cheerless and unfulfilled. Indeed, Mr LA single-handedly gave the self-proclaimed Guru of Positivity a nice little run for her money. And yet, after surviving the ordeal, I appreciate the benefits: (1) a junior babe figure 25 pounds lighter and (2) a diploma from the medical marijuana school of “higher” learning.

To the question What has been the best part of the journey as of the second anniversary? The answer is unequivocal: Qualifying to keep riding the trial pony after each CTscan. Insn’t that what this whole exercise is about?

And now, the CO-1686 Report Card as of post time…….drum roll……. Cancer: stable. Bloods: normal.  Side effects: zilch.  Performance Rating: 0-1.  Skinny Girl jeans size: unchanged. Other: Eight faint chicken pox dots scattered around the right eye – fading souvenirs from the Battle of the Shingles. Win some, lose some.

So onward and forward, but first: celebrate!  Chug-a-lug the brew! Beat the heck out of the pinata! Indulge the inner hedonist!  It’s Exclamation Point Day!

Happy dance, Feisty Heifer!