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Posted 2018-01-01T20:22:13Z

Happy New Year!

I’m sorry not to have posted for so long. Tl;dr: Convalescing takes patience, but all is well.

I’ve been home for three weeks now, and I’m very very happy to be here with my family and kitties. Gradually over these weeks I’ve reduced the pain killers they had me take, and gradually I’ve been able to expand what foods I can eat (almost anything at this point, but I need to be careful to eat it slowly and to not eat too much).

After my first week, I returned to the hospital for a follow-up visit with my surgeon — who liked what he saw well enough that he said, “OK, we’ll see you in six months!” In short, the chemo-radiation therapy had knocked out almost all of the cancer. The surgery then went really well: they removed most of the esophagus, including the few remaining cancer cells; and 40-odd adjacent lymph nodes — only one of which had any cancer. So the prognosis is really very good.

The tube feeding, for various reasons, was not going very well this time around — but since traditional eating has been very successful, the surgeon and nutritionist basically shrugged and said that I might as well have the j-tube removed immediately: so as of two weeks ago there have been no tubes poking into (or out from) my body. Yea!!

At home, I nap most days — and I have to eat a small meal every hour or two — but otherwise I’ve been maintaining a pretty normal schedule. I have not been getting much writing done, either here (obviously!) or on my “Mapping Mordor” chapter: sustained mental work has been difficult; each day makes it a little easier, though — I’m feeling more normal all the time.

Karen’s folks stayed with us right through Christmas — which was wonderful! — but they did finally have to leave. My brother and his family came a couple of days later for a second Christmas and stayed till Sunday morning, so it’s been a lovely flurry of activity.

I’m tremendously looking forward to 2018 and all that it will bring. For now, I’ll leave you with my midnight message on Facebook:

My friend Erin posted this list of proposed resolutions for the new year, and I honestly cannot think of anything to add to it. Happy 2018 to all!

  • Let’s flip every single state blue. We’ve been a world embarrassment long enough. Let’s restore sanity, dignity, and sentences to the White House, and every state house, and every county and city house. And if we have to run for something ourselves to replace an idiot, let’s run for something ourselves.
  • Let’s live like we enjoy life and our work and the people around us, and if we don’t, let’s do something about that, because we can’t fix the world when we’re unwilling to get out of bed.
  • Let’s remember that work is to pay for life, not the other way around.
  • When in doubt, apply music or good food with friends to the problem. Or both. When music or food are work, remember the previous.
  • Pet someone furry as often and as long as possible. When they start biting, move on to the next someone furry.
  • Say yes. You can always say no later as needed, but the same is not true of yes.
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Comments (9)

  • barbara grandberg
    barbara grandberg

    thanks for the update :] love all the positives :) a happy and healthy to you and the family and goocooooooooooo sox :}

    4 years ago · Reply
  • Maggie Grantgra
    Maggie Grantgra

    Good on ya, Erik! Thanks for the details; it helps :-) Happy new year, and yes, I'm stealing Erin's 2018 resolutions! Much love, Maggie

    4 years ago · Reply
  • Erin Vang
    Erin Vang

    I honored!

    4 years ago · Reply
  • Chloe Bird
    Chloe Bird

    So glad you have good news and are on the mend. Wishing you a smooth and easy recovery.

    4 years ago · Reply
  • Robin Kynoch
    Robin Kynoch

    Love your news! And love what your friend wrote, too!

    4 years ago · Reply
  • jessica Offir
    jessica Offir

    Congrats and happy new year!

    4 years ago · Reply
  • Kara Pekar
    Kara Pekar

    I’m so glad to hear how well you’re doing! And I love your/ Erin’s ideas for the new year. My best wishes and prayers for continued healing in the coming weeks and months, and for a cancer-free future. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and Karen and the “kids”!

    4 years ago · Reply
  • Margaret Bary
    Margaret Bary

    Happy to read your good news and positive outlook and wishing you and your family a happy and healthy new year. Love from the Barys.

    4 years ago · Reply
  • Mike & Eileen Franch
    Mike & Eileen Franch

    So wonderful to read your good news. You make recovery sound like such a cozy experience! Glad you've had nice family visits, and hope you're aware of a whole community of people hovering over you in cyberspace.

    4 years ago · Reply