Lee and I are really looking forward to our trip to New Mexico. Touring galleries, exploring museums, taking in the enchanted vistas along with fine dining accompanied by the finest fruits of the vine await us! However, Friday evening the brace that supports my left leg went “snap, crackle, pop” and ceased to offer any support. Fortunately I was also wearing my outriggers (aka, crutches), so Jimmy did not fall down and go boom. Still, the broken brace presented a dark cloud on our vacation horizon. I do have an old “beater” emergency backup brace, but it would severely curtail any ambulatory activity. My brace manufacturer is in Oregon and the turnaround time for repair is about two weeks, which would be just in time for chemo.😞
Enter my friend Jeff Elliott and his Magical Toyland. Jeff is a master of all things metal. Jeff has mysterious powers and he can bend, shape and fabricate any metallic substance. Jeff happily repaired my brace and I have been putting it through its paces the last few days on my morning walks. I’m so glad the brace broke BEFORE our vacation and sooooo glad that Jeff could invoke his super powers on my behalf!
On Wednesday Lee and I met with the final member of my cancer treatment team, a palliative care nurse. Although my cancer is treatable, it is not currently curable. My goal is to extend my life as long as possible, but only if my life is worth living. The oncologist focuses on the cancer, the palliative nurse focuses on the rest of me, they work together to best achieve our goal. It is possible, though highly improbable, that treatment could buy me enough time until a cure is found.
While the odds are stacked against me , I’ve been an over-achiever my entire life. I contracted polio at age ten months. I lived in poverty and in foster homes until I was eight. While in college my History professor passed over me for an internship at NangYang University in Singapore despite my 4.0 GPA in history. His assessment was that I was not a scholar, I was an overachiever, and thus not a qualified candidate for the position. I was offended and angry. But upon reflection I realized that he was correct. I have never been the fastest, strongest or smartest in any venture or organization I’ve been involved with. However I’ve always been at the top in achievement and performance. I somehow get it done, I achieve beyond my measurable abilities. I am an an overachiever and I am proud of it. Like athletes who don’t measure up on the practice field, but somehow out perform their more talented opponents, I am a gamer. While my brain understands that my life is likely very short lived, and I am taking steps to manage and protect the quality of my life for myself and for Lee, I am accustomed to somehow overachieving. I remain a gamer and this is my biggest game.
Last night Lee and I attended the final session of the “snow bird” season for the Wine Tasters. A fun group of wine enthusiasts, of all different levels of wine knowledge, but with a common passion for fun and enjoyment of wine. Most members will be gone for all or part of the summer and will reconvene in the fall. A good time was had by all and a perfect send off for our New Mexico vacation.