Happy birthday: you have cancer!

This was my birthday week — Tuesday the 6th was the actual day (which was some work, some fun and playing music), and we are “officially” celebrating tomorrow with tennis, eclairs and a visit to one of my favourite Montreal restaurants.

On Thursday I saw my oncologist. It’s mostly no news. My tumour marker is steady at 7.4, and we mostly discussed symptoms. For stiffness, he recommends keeping my joints “warm,” which I think just means moving them. I got a magic mouthwash prescription in case my mouth swells up again. And I’ve got a slight increase in my blood pressure meds because my diastolic is still a bit high. I also agreed to try starting Lyrica to see if it makes any difference for the nerve pain in my hands. As to the foot blisters, they come and go. They suck, I have to wear socks a lot more often than I want, and they affect my motivation to walk places, but they’re not a dealbreaker.

This is my 49th birthday (so I’m technically starting my 50th year), and I’ve known I’ve had cancer now for just under 10 years, and probably had it much longer than that. I have joked that being on Lenvima has more or less instantly aged me a decade or two, as I am now firmly middle aged in my ailments–none of which I had in February: high blood pressure, bad balance, stiffness (I even sometimes groan like a middle aged guy when I get up), various pains in my hands and feet and on and on. For all that, a chronic illness like this, at least for me, completely relieves me of the burden of a midlife crisis. It’s good to be alive.