When I fill up at a Philips 66 gas station the number 66 always reminds me of how many radiation treatments I’ve had over the past 3 years: 33 Photon Radiation treatments at Froedtert in WI and 33 Proton Beam at MGH in MA.
Radiation is a great thing and I’m truly grateful for it because it destroyed the cancer but it also leaves a pretty challenging path of side effects. Like most things in life it just another tradeoff of survival that one has to reconcile with.
As I surpassed my 1 year anniversary of the Proton Beam at MGH I’m getting some new side effects of a swollen cerebellum which throws my balance off a bit, a swollen temporal lobe that could result in seizures and a paralyzed vocal cord which requires a vocal cord injection every 3-6 months so I can talk – all resulting in the need to see more specialists.
I fully accept the side effects (and there are few more) to be cancer free as this is my new normal.
My best friend Joel in New Mexico shared with me that Springsteen has a very relevant lyric on the song “Straight Time” on his Ghost of Tom Joad CD that sums things up quite nicely:
“But you can get used to anything. Sooner or later it becomes your life.”
I’m just prodding along doing the best I can as I believe my best days lie ahead!