Que Syrah Syrah, whatever will be will be, the future’s not up to me, so I sip Syrah, so I sip Syrah.
As we approach the end of the holiday season, I want to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Happy and Healthy New Year. This year was a rather eventful year for us, with both good and bad events. One of the good events is that the doctors finally discovered why I was having unintended weight loss. Unfortunately the reason for the weight loss, Stage IV Colon Cancer, was not the best news of the year. After the initial shock filled with “I’m going to die” thoughts, I focused on living. Focusing on the quality of life, living for the moment, and not worrying about longevity is very liberating. I am liberated from fear and worry. I don’t ignore my future. I still focus and plan my cancer treatment,but I don’t worry about CT scans or PET scans. If it’s good news, we celebrate. If it’s bad news, we evaluate options and move on. I also plan for vacations and my budding artist career😄. I have a future, one tempered with great uncertainty, but a future nonetheless. My goal for 2016 is to continue to live life to it’s fullest.
I want to thank you, dear reader, for helping me realize my goal in this stressful year. Your love and support cannot be overstated in it’s benefit for Lee and I. And don’t get me started on all those yummy baked goods. Cookies, cake, bread, biscotti and pie….Oh My!!! After my surgery in April I left the hospital tipping the scales at 148 lbs, today I weighed in at 183. Pat yourselves on the back, job well done!
With the current medical practices, my Stage IV cancer cannot be cured. Average life span after diagnosis is under two years, only 8% make it to five years. But there are new treatments on the horizon. One of them is immunotherapy. Since cancer consists of mutant cells from within the body, our immune system does not consider cancer a threat and ignores it. Immunotherapy changes that and unleashes the immune system to attack the cancer cells. Ninety year old Jimmy Carter used immunotherapy to eradicate malignant lesions within his brain in only two months. This therapy is in its early stages of development for colon cancer, but if I can hang around long enough I might be able to use this therapy too. A good immunotherapy omen presented itself to us last week. Lee sold a painting on her Etsy site (www.etsy.com/shop/AsbellArtStudio ) and the purchaser requested to pick up the painting. When he arrived we discovered that he was a grad student at the Universty of Arizona doing reasearch in immunotherapy. The painting was to be a gift for his mentor who was leaving to continue research in Europe, he was also leaving to continue his research. He was very positive about the future of immunotherapy for colon cancer. I take this as a good omen.
Along with enjoying festive activities with friends and family over the holiday season, I had the “pedal to the metal” creating Christmas presents. I felt like an elf in Santa’s workshop doing paintings of loved cats and dogs…and one giraffe. What fun, creating happy loving images that will one day be happy memories. Below is my Christmas menagerie for your viewing pleasure. Happy New Year!!