Thursday, October 29, 2009


The scan is done. We don't know the outcome until next Thursday but it's a step closer. Angela was working Tuesday night so David was kind enough to give me company at the hospital.
The picture is taken, now we just wait.
They also took my feeding tube out on Tuesday morning. The truth be told it was extremely painful. I actually went into a shock from the pain shortly after. By today things are pretty much healed and there is hardly any uncomfortableness left.
Kevin came to visit me last night. It was great to see him again.
Most of my thoughts during the day are focused on next Thursday. I am still anxious about the results. I still have a tendency to assume the worst outcome. Angela and some of my friends have had the courage to say that they think that things will be positive. Of course I know that nobody can say for sure, but it does feel good to get these moments of hope. I am trying really hard to get on board with that but I fail more often than not. I always feel that damn growth in my tongue that worries me.

Monday, October 26, 2009

After The Weekend

My weekend was overall rather nice. On Saturday we went to Mordan and spend the afternoon with family where we ate and played cards. It was nice to be with them. Yesterday evening I visited David. It was great to chat with him for a while.
My biggest struggle this weekend was to think about the upcoming scan and results in more positive terms. I can't help it, but unto now I automatically assumed the worst. I somehow have a hard time to allow myself the possibility of good or at least hopeful results. That is extremely draining on my mental state. For example: Angela bought a cottage lot this weekend that she has to build a cottage on over the next two years. She was very excited about it and I was happy for her. At the same time I was deeply sad because I wondered if I would be alive long enough to see it.
This morning I had another meeting with a counsellor at CancerCare. After listening to my experiences over the last three weeks she felt that I am processing things properly. Many people are trying to avoid the true pain and anxiety and she was glad to hear that I allow myself to work through them. That is encouraging but it doesn't take away the uncomfortableness and mental anguish that I experience these days.
Tomorrow night is my appointment for the MRI scan. That is a big deal. The truth about how things progressed inside my mouth will be exposed. Even though we will only hear about the results on the 5th I do feel the importance of that scan. Please send your prayers and positive thoughts at 6:00 PM.
One a more joyful note, I will have my feeding tube removed tomorrow morning. I am excited about that as it brings me one step closer to feeling a bit more normal again.

Friday, October 23, 2009


On wednesday night I had a good cry in the evening. Things just seemed so overwhelming and I was tired from being scared about the upcoming results.
Since then things were a bit better. I had a good day yesterday. After sleeping in I went to work for a bit and then we had our usual supper group. That companionship has been very valuable for Angela and me, since this group has become like family over the last ten years and we always spend time at the end of our supper hour to talk about our journey and to pray together. After that Angela and I went to a show at MTC to see Stefanie perform. It was good to be out in public. A lot of people were glad to see me and showed a lot of concern and seemed pleased that I looked rather well.
Today we had breakfast with Angela's dad and we're going to visit Donna and Dave tonight, which I am looking forward to. I really like being with friends and family these days.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


The thoughts of the upcoming scan and the results are all consuming these days. the tumour is still in my tongue and I have difficulties to shake my nervousness.
One attempt to make it through the next couple of weeks if anticipation is to go back to work for a few hours a day. I have been going for half days this week and will probably continue to do so. It feels good to be around the daCapo crew again. I truly enjoy having Clint close by as well. It is often difficult for me to concentrate on work but I am trying hard to get back into the swing of things. I am walking there ever day which gives me a good excuse to do my exercise.
Unfortunately I noticed that my hearing has suffered quite a bit from the treatment, most likely from the chemo. Most things sound muffled and distorted. As you can imagine that is really hard to take in my line of work. I can't help but to feel that life is kicking me while I'm down.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


The last few days were not too bad. I am still scared regarding the outcome of the scan but I am getting a bit more hopeful that things might actually not be bad news. Until now I only considered that the therapy failed but I am slowly learning to be a bit more positive and hopeful. I guess it is possible that the scan shows positive progress.
I am filled by a profound sadness these days. I am clearly mourning the loss of the life I used to call my own. Everything has changed and it will never come back again. I ache for that fact and I feel defeated and weak within those thoughts. It almost feels like I am step by step saying goodbye to myself . I look at pictures from the time before cancer or I listen to music that I have produced and it feels like that person has died and will never come back. That slowly breaks my heart.
Angela and I have developed and evening ritual where we read a book together that she reads out aloud to both of us. We are currently reading a book titled "Man's Search For Meaning" by Victor E. Frankl. Frankl was a psychiatrist who was imprisoned in Auschwitz during the Nazi years. His book tells about his experiences there and analyses the meaning and nature of suffering. This book really speaks to me right now and I find it helps me to put perspective on my situation and gives me courage and inspiration for what is to come.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


For Thanksgiving we had some family over on Saturday and we also visited a larger gathering in Winkler on Monday. It was nice to see everyone.
My mood has improved a bit overall but still feels very heavy for a lot of the time. My mind is constantly thinking about cancer and the fear of what is to come. It is extremely difficult to shut that off. I'm working on it, though.
It is also tough to deal with the daily physical struggles (especially when everybody digs into their thanksgiving buffet while I'm drinking my can of meal replacement). Cancer Care told me that the road to recovery would take about 7 weeks and I realize now that that is just not true. I am predicting a total of two more months before things will return to a more normal state. For what I have read on some support group sites that seams about right. Unfortunately that means I will have to be more patient and tolerate my discomfort longer. I will do my best. The truth is that at the moment, between the pain and the fear, life does not come easy. I have to constantly work on living every hour without losing it. I told Clint this morning that "It really sucks to be me right now."
I went to work this morning. I was thinking to go in for a couple of hours a day to find some distraction and to feel a bit more productive again. Let's see if I can keep that up or a while.
But there are some short times of contentment when I have a glass of wine with Angela while we watch some good TV in the evenings. For those couple of hours life seems good and somewhat normal. I treasure those moments.

Friday, October 9, 2009


The last couple of days have been pretty good. Physically there are more and more small improvements every day. I haven't used my feeding tube for three days now and I am taking all my food in by mouth. Most of it is still liquid (soups, boost) but after using the feeding tube for 6 weeks I am pleased about that change. I am also slowly experimenting with some more 'mushy' foods like cream of wheat and yogurts, etc. My physical strength is also getting better. I am either walking or stationary biking for one hour every day and I do feel that that makes a difference in my day. I feel less tired and overall better about myself. My mental stage is still a struggle at times. There is some improvement over the previous week that is noticeable. Overall it is getting a bit easier to get through a day.
Some of my interests are coming back as well. After 2 months I picked up my guitar again for a bit. I dropped by work on Wednesday and I am planning to do that more regularly this coming week. I really enjoy visiting with people. Hopefully I'll be able to play some board games soon.
Peter took me out for some Sushi on Wednesday evening. Even though I had mostly soup it felt good to be out for a bit like a 'normal' person. Angela and I also went to see a show at MTC last night. It was the first time in months that I was among a crowd.
My daily fear is still there and I think I'll just have to learn to live with that. Until the scan at the end of October there is really nothing I can do about that.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


I have been terrified over the last couple of days whenever I thought of the still existing cancer mass in my mouth. It has been almost 4 weeks since the end of my treatment and it still is of significant size. It has been explained to me that it will take some time for the cells to die out but by now I was hoping for bigger results. I am scheduled for a MRI on October 27th and a follow up meeting for November 5th. I don't know if I can live with this fear till then.
Please continue to pray for the cure...

Monday, October 5, 2009


O.K., I think it is time to make an update about where I am at in the big picture.
Mood: My depression is still here, no question. But I do have good days in between the bad ones. Today was a good one. Yesterday was a bad one. We'll see what tomorrow will bring. My hope is that there will be slowly more good times than bad ones.
One of the reasons for my dark moods is my fear about the status of my tumour in my tongue. Even though it has gotten smaller it is definitely still there. I constantly think about it and get scared that it might not go away. I am trying really had to put these thoughts out of my head and focus on the recovery instead.
Food: I have to learn how to swallow again. So far I have succeeded with liquids. I do have one or two beer in the evening, my morning coffee and some pop and tea during the day. I also drink the occasional Boost instead of tube feeding. More solid food provide a challenge. This morning Angela made me some scrambled eggs and I ate most of it with some struggle. Small steps.
Physical: I am now down to about 171 lbs. That's 35 less than when I started. A lot of that is loss of muscle mass so I am slowly trying to get some exercise into my day. Today I walked to Advance Electronics and back. That's about 2 miles or 40 minutes. I had no trouble doing that and felt rather please with myself. Hopefully I will find the emotional strength to do something like that every day.
Overall it is clear that things are slowly improving. Hopefully it will continue to do so.

Saturday, October 3, 2009


We have a new friend. His name is Samson and Angela and I brought him home Thursday night from the humane society. He is a 4 month old German Shepherd/Golden Retriever/many other things mix that already weighs 40 lbs.
Angela and I felt that this was a good time to get another dog. He will keep me occupied and hopefully he will transfer some of his puppy energy onto me. Welcome to the family, Samson.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

With A Little Help From My Friends

One of the ways I am trying to deal with my depressed state is to surround myself with my friends and have talks. Lucky for me I have lots of great friends. So for the last couple of days I have been inviting people to spend time with me (especially while Angela is working) and to give me a chance to verbalize my emotions. On Tuesday I got visits from James, Kevin and Clint. Yesterday Angus came for the afternoon and we saw Donna and Dave in the evening. Laura, Peter and Randy have committed to spending time with me over the weekend. I have to say it feels good to talk to them. At first I talk about the cancer and my depression and eventually the subject changes to something else. Before I know it we have been talking about something for a while without thinking about the cancer. That feels good. Today I already feel a bit better about things and, at least for the moment, the paralyzing feeling has lifted. Hopefully things will get better. I will also see the counsellor at CancerCare this afternoon. Thank you everybody for being there for me.