Saturday, February 20, 2010

99% Is Good Enough For Me- version 2

A got a call from his dr. the other day. The scans all looked great, as dark and blank as a cloudy night- which is good, any appearing stars would have been cancer regrowth. A still has to have an appt so the dr. can poke him in the neck and make it official, but really, if there's no internal regrowth, it's not likely there will be anything to feel. So we are going with the thought that he'll be returning to work in the near future.

Which leaves me with some admittedly mixed feelings. And A, who as a pilot was born without a panic gene, might, just a little bit, be feeling somewhat nervous about going through training again. Which guarantees to be more difficult to get through when you come in cold vs. having spent the past year or more flying nearly daily. He was, however, born with an overdeveloped confidence gene, as were most pilots.

I really want to say thank you to all of the people who prayed for us, thought of us and pulled for us during this last round of testing. It really meant a lot to me to see that people I don't even know are pulling for us. As for the twenty years thing, I got it in my head that since A has NO thyroid, and therefore wasn't putting out any thyroid hormone of his own that he could only do synthetic for a certain time. But that it would be different for people who put out some of their own hormone.

Things are going well for us otherwise and we are awaiting the return of spring weather.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Flying Cheap on Frontline

On TV tonight, PBS's Frontline news program takes on the Regionals in the program Flying Cheap

Not sure I agree with everything in the preview, but it should be interesting.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Restarting our engines

We don't meet with the oncologist for a few more weeks because he's in Haiti right now. Nothing is for sure until then of course. Today the oncology nurse called and said A could go back on his medication because there's "no treatment needed".

When I got the news (at work), five minutes of good cheer erupted. Then I remembered that those fateful words probably mean I am once again going to have to share my husband with crew scheduling and five minutes of bad mood presided. We've still got several months ahead of us before that happens though.

For today, we're enjoying a new view of the horizon.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


You know those times when you completely over-analyze someone's every move trying to figure out if any nuance reflects the status of your fate? Today I'm doing that by phone vicariously through A. I'm sure it's annoying, but I can't help it.

Monday, February 1, 2010

When you realize the universe just taught you a lesson

AKA- Why Someday Must Attend All Doctor Appointments

Two years ago, my boss wouldn't let me off work for the day that A met with his doctor to receive his diagnosis. That meant he had to go alone. To confirm his suspicion that he had cancer. (Said boss is now undergoing treatment for her own cancer, so perhaps there is some validity in karma...) A came home from that appointment with two major pieces of information- One, he had cancer and two, he would die within twenty years. He heard that a person could only live for a maximum of twenty years on synthetic thyroid hormone. Our lives have been colored by this news ever since.

Now twenty years may seem like a long time, and it is, until we remember that if we had a child now, A might not be there to see Graduation Day. And we'd never get to partake in that retired person's RV around the country trip so many people take. And A's grandchildren would likely never know him. It's kind of depressing, like a really long expiration period. We deal with this news by alternating between pretending it isn't going to happen and by making tentative plans to deal with it. No one likes the thought of knowing their husband is going to die an early death, but to avoid it altogether is also unreasonable. So we try.

Last week I was able to attend A's appointment with his endocrinologist, the one who monitors his thyroid condition. It was the first time I had been. We found out that there had been some issues with information transfer between the oncologist and the endocrinologist, we discussed different types of medication, and we found out that the premise of death in twenty years we had been operating under FOR TWO YEARS was false.

That's right, FALSE. The doctor clarified that one can live indefinitely solely on synthetic thyroid medicine. Which we were, of course, happy to find out. I have to give A a break on this one- I'm pretty sure that after the doctor confirmed that he had cancer his listening skills went out the window and everything she said after that was a blur. I'm sure the same would have happened to me. Well, not really, but I'm trying to be sympathetic.

But to have what felt like a giant countdown to the end of A's life lifted was just an amazing feeling. Expecting to lose him really helped us not take each other for granted and forced us to talk about and make plans for the future. That lesson is one that we can take from this experience, hopefully it's the one we were intended to learn. Because learning not to let my husband attend medical appointments on his own just doesn't seem meaningful enough.