Tomorrow marks a full year since my world got mangled. Diagnosis day? Biopsy-versary? Whatever you want to call it, it’s a dubious distinction.

My latest follow-up scan shows no sign of cancer, although the swelling in my throat has not backed down and my voice continues to sound like a raspy, drowning, toad.

It’s in my nature to look back on the past 364 days and account for what has transpired. The last few months have been quite introspective for me, even more than usual, and while I don’t know where to start, it’s been pointed out to me that it would be a good idea to write it down.

I am lost. Utterly rudderless. I sailed out of the storm and into calmer waters, without a map. Cancer, for all its failings, at least gave me a direction. I have a second chance, but doing more of the same seems like such a wasted opportunity.

Work is important. Work generates income, which allows for life’s necessities and luxuries. Now more than ever, work seems like just a means to an end, to me. For years, my work and my career were my identity, or at least a major part of it. If it’s not who I am any longer, what do I want to do to provide for my family’s needs and desires? The options are endless, and some are more reasonable than others, but it seems like the easiest, default route is to just go back to my B.C. career. At least I’m good at it, right? Right?

So here I am, at this strange moment to commemorate, and while I’m grateful that I get to have a life again, whereas so many others in a similar situation may not, I’m at a loss for where to go from here. The answer is out there, I’m sure of it.

PET Scan

Tomorrow is the 6-months to the date since I was cast, involuntarily, into this fight. Coincidentally, it’s also when I undergo my 12-week post-treatment PET scan, from eyes to thighs as they say, to determine the results of my fight so far.

In this give-me-convenience-or-give-me-death world of instant gratification, having to wait 12 weeks for anything seems absurd. The fact is, everyday brings a new wrinkle to the post-treatment fabric — I never know how my body is going to be doing every single day.

Today, after a normal, hearty breakfast, my system crashed hard. Fatigue set in after breakfast and never really let up. Water tasted normal today. My muscles still inexplicably ache, and headaches still make surprise appearances. And it was a great day, overall. I won’t bore you with details of the highlights of my life, but it was a great day.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous about my scan tomorrow. But like every other day in this journey, I have to surrender to the moment and see what my care team and I have accomplished.

If another round of battle is necessary, I think I’m up to the task. The first fight seemed impossible in the thick of things, but with the benefit of elapsed time and mental distance, it is doable. It has to be.

Whatever tomorrow brings, I know that I’ve fought like hell. I’ve left no stone unturned and investigated all possible avenues.


This week really smacked me in the face. All of my best intended plans got thrown by the wayside. Exercise, diet, energy… all gone.

How I’m doing? changes by the minute. I’m being carried by the current and right now the seas are getting rough. Will they get rougher?

Instead of boring you with details of a painful existence, let me tell you about what’s going right in my life.

My youngest loves to cuddle with me. I know the age window for this behavior is closing soon, but right now he cuddles like a champ. I can call him with my raspy, barely audible voice from across the house and he cheers me up, even if for just a moment.

Daddy is going to feel better soon, I tell him.