Wednesday, October 15, 2008

arbitrary milestone

I celebrated? the anniversary of my illness on Monday as well as having lasted six months beyond the average sell-by date for those with my condition. It was a year ago Monday that I started inexplicably dropping beers downstairs during my vernissage and I can now both safely hold and even drink them again!

When they tell you that you have cancer, they (usually) don’t tell you that you’re going to die. They wait until you ask, ‘how long do I have?’ Then they look wistfully askance and tell you the average survival time for what they think you have. They might even give you some ranges and percentages, cross-calculated with treatment options and other scenarios, etc. So you’ve got that to think about, even though you probably stopped listening awhile ago.

Then they tell you that ‘all cancers are different,’ which you dismiss as a platitude (if you’re still listening), but shouldn’t. All cancers are different. They may be rogue, rowdy and rebellious, but they’re your cells after all. That’s how they manage to fool your immune system. Cancer is as personal and unique as the color of your eyes or the shape of your nose. This leaves ranges and averages rather arbitrary.

My own cancer seems to be luckily less ambitious than is the norm for its particular breed. So happy arbitrary milestone to me! The MRI came back negative (or positive if you’re a glass-full type not in the medical profession) – no current CNS metastasis. The sinusitus (that I’d forgot I had) has also improved.

The neuropathy has stabilized to the very tips of my fingers and the bottoms of my feet. It feels like I have shag carpeting inside my sneakers. I’ll get a CD of the PET/CT and various other acronyms on Tuesday, but probably won’t be able to read any of it. Results will be over the phone later that week before I leave for Germany.

Really looking forward to my upcoming trip(s) and hope to see as many of you as is superhumanly possible. Take care and thanks for the comments. Taffy, now there’s a lass from the past! Keep on rockin’ girl.


Ingrid said...

Happy arbitrary anniversary, Sweetheart! You should know it is also World Food Awareness Day, Boss' Day, and Squirrel Appreciation Month: (Anticipating your cynical challenge, per usual.) ;-)

Happy travels, Mike. Happy to take guests here in Toronto if you're forced to flee the US for any reason... ;-)

Una on Tour said...

Happy arbitary anniversary and glad to hear you are no longer dropping beers, what a waste, what a terrible waste - and fantastic news about the MRI - rock on, Mike!

Taffy said...

Happy Anniversary Mike!

Random things I remember about our adventures in High School ...

The Prom night was sooooo hot that I actually did not put on my dress until you were downstairs. And your crazy little silver car didn't have air conditioning so we were drenched in sweat by the time we got there.

I used to come to your house for dinner sometimes with the pretense that we would study afterwords. Your mom was a good cook - but what I really loved was the competitive Jeopardy watching ritual you and Mary had going on.

For some reason I remember that you had this sweatshirt that had grey in the middle and blue sleeves and hood. You wore it all the time.

We did study together and for some reason our favortie study spot was the upstairs hallway in your house. Go figure.

You are very ticklish!

We were in the same church youth group and went on several retreats together. The one I remember most was at the Presbyterian Center at Holmes in the dead of winter. There is a classic photo of the whole group weilding icicles that were doubling as swords.

U2 concerts - that I did not attend, because I was a chicken. But I loved hearing the drunken debauchary and the blow by blow of each song played.

Visiting your postage stamp sized dorm room at NYU the first x-mas after we graduated.

All good times!!! Hope it brings back some good memories for you too.

chihuahua lady said...

yay!! mike-on mikey!!!
happy!! happy!!
lots of love

Anonymous said...

Happy cansaversary, I guess this whole thing reminds us of the things that are most precious in this crazy world. Can't wait to see you and have our adventures state side. Love you. Ann

Shay said...

Arbitrary wishes on this oh so arbitrarily auspicious day. Loving arms await you Mikey!

Anonymous said...

Dear Mike,
Good to hear you're managing well- we all need your Obama-like calmness in these difficult times.
Please announce on or paste to your blog:
A Halloween party, Friday October 31st, in Brooklyn, to celebrate Mike Gisondi's arrival in NY. Guests please come as your favorite personage, political, spiritual, or otherwise. All are most welcome - especially people who have been to a bowling alley in Middletown.
Friday Oct. 31st, 8pm
224 St. James Place #2L
Brooklyn NY 11238
call 347-268-1868
Love, Tim

Mom said...

Everyone knows that irradiated products have no "use by" date. Also, they are the most dear. Love you - Mom

Anonymous said...

congratulations? no really that's fantastic news mike. i hope yr still planning on coming to visit us in the January or February.
Talk 2 u soon.