Just Checking In (Random Stuff) ...

I am happy to share that Marian is doing as well as John on CAL-101. It has been a year since she began treatment. Her blood, marrow and lymph nodes have all responded beautifully. On the left are her counts today. She says she feels good and she is back on the dance floor. She's pretty amazing for 79 ... or any age, for that matter. I think sometimes she feels younger than I do. : ) Especially lately ...

I am having an MRI of my left shoulder in the morning to make sure I don't have a tear in my rotator cuff. It is probably just tendinitis and/or frozen shoulder (which I previously had in my right shoulder about ten years ago). But the pain has been pretty constant for about three months. I've thought it was getting better once or twice (when the pain eased up for a day or I was able to painfully push past a certain range of movement). But then it seems to get worse again for no apparent reason. And lately I have been having a hard time sleeping; waking up with that deep aching that varies in intensity, but never completely goes away.

I've been taking an anti-inflammatory and doing self-PT exercises for weeks. I've had a cortisone injection. I've had acupuncture, a chiropractic adjustment and ultrasound. Once we get the MRI results, I will probably be sent for physical therapy. But when I had this before, it took almost a year to heal (even with PT and two injections). And I'm ten years older now.

There have been a lot of nights lately when I have woken up almost every hour, all night long. When I wake up, my shoulder is killing me and I am also really hot. My hot flashes, which were so mild and tolerable when they first began, have built up a little more steam. So I never really know if it's the hot flashes that are waking me up or the pain in my shoulder. All I know is they are both present any time I am conscious during the night. And they are both making me feel old!

I read recently that pain is a reminder we are still alive (as we get older). And I am thankful I'm still alive. But I find myself wondering frequently what it's going to feel like to be old (supposing I stick around that long). I also realize how fortunate I have been to enjoy good health into my fifties and to have endured so little physical pain over half a decade.

We went to see close friends (Michael and Norma Geiser) in New England last weekend. We flew into Providence, RI and stayed with them in Pawtucket from Thursday through Sunday. We spent Friday in Newport, RI, and Saturday in Boston, MA. We walked and stood a lot (sightseeing). And we were all hurting. Aching feet. Aching backs. Aching shoulder. (My knees are not bothering me at all right now because I'm taking an anti-inflammatory every morning for my shoulder.) Fortunately, we are all in the same boat. So we were sensitive to each other's aches and pains. And we had plenty of laughs about our aging bodies.

One thing I know: There is definitely something to the theory of endorphins relieving pain. More than once I noticed a complete absence of pain while we were enjoying a fabulous meal. Actually, I didn't think about pain or not being in pain until the pain returned. At that point, I realized I had not felt any pain all through dinner (or lunch at Quincy Market). But one cannot be on a continual feast -- even if there are therapeutic benefits from surges of endorphins!

Here are a few pictures of me feeling no pain ...

We had a great time with two of our best friends in the world, Michael and Norma (aka: Mikey & Nawmin).


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