Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Legs pick up pace but radiation has its kick, too

It was a mixed Monday for me.
Mixed, in terms of, my legs felt as strong as they've felt since my Solitary Plasmacytoma tumour, my wife and I got out of the hospital Oct. 30, and because once I finished Radiation No. 10, every other part of me felt BLAAAH.
I imagine that much of that leg confidence was mental, after that inaugural pool session Sunday, and because I am getting more proficient with the cane. No matter. I'll take whatever I can.
As for that feeling rundown, it was the worst bout of it so far. Coming out of the Cancer Agency and climbing into the SUV with Ron, Carol-Ann's dad and my chaperon for the day, I could feel this exhaustion kicking in. It's quite normal, from everything we've been told, but it's still jarring.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Amanda Atkinson, a high school friend, wants me to name the tumour. I told her that Crush The Franklin With Humour doesn't have a ring to it as a blog title.)
We got home about 3 p.m. and I just sunk into my beloved Cookie Gilchrist couch. (Yes, a couch I bought off recently retired Province columnist Cookie Gilchrist, one of the real class guys I've met in this business and one of the most popular newspapermen amongst his peers around. That's double points -- name drop and shameless plug.)
By the time Ron and I made the 40-minute drive from Vancouver and pulled into our place in New Westminster, I was done. Finished. Kaput. 
Unfortunately, when I get over-the-top tired, I apparently sound like I've been heavy into the beer. Also, unfortunately to me, I'm 40 going on eight in some regard. I don't like to miss anything going on, so I didn't want to nap. 
Verna, Carol-Ann's mom, had hung at the house all the day, cleaning up and making dinner. Carol-Ann came home, and I had them bustin' up pretty good, although I don't remember too much.
I had pretty good jump prior to radiation. I've volunteered at the Richmond Food Bank since the 2003-04 hockey season. I had covered high school sports at the Province until that point, and felt like I was giving back to the community that way. When I was moved to NHL that year, I felt like I needed to find another way of helping out. I was born in Vancouver, but raised largely in Richmond and was living there at the time. It's about three hours for me every Monday, and I usually break a little sweat and I've made relationships that I wouldn't have elsewhere made.
None of my Food Bank cohorts had seen or heard from me since this whole Solitary Plasmacytoma thing started. They deserved an update.
After that, Ron and I had lunch at Earl's (Shameless plug for my wife's employer) and just as we were leaving got a visit there from my Cancer Coach, Bif Naked. (Name drop.) As she usually does, she came with gifts. She brought these massive grapes, some of which were larger than the MRI I had sit in to get this tumour diagnosis. She also had a book on smoothies.
Oddly enough, my throat, which started acting up last Wednesday due to the radiation, has actually calmed down. I did have a smoothie last night for dinner, but that's because I was too tired to chew.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: I ripped that whole Amanda Atkinson story off a Facebook conversation we had. Did I just plagiarize myself? Can I have my lawyer call my lawyer and settle out of court? Or are the voices in my head talking about me behind my back?)
For today, my uncle, Big Al, is chaperoning the radiation experience.  I had talked about trying another pool session beforehand, but I'd rather take an extra day. My energy isn't great and I don't want to follow up a great experience with an awful one and get myself disappointed.

PS We can't leave you today without somebody chopping me down. But Kristin Reid? (Another name drop? This edition is rockin' the brackets big time.) Gilbert Perreault was my favourite player growing up, and with the Canucks in Buffalo this weekend, I fired off a text, asking Reidder if she found a XXL t-shirt with an old-school logo to pick it up and I'd gladly repay her. 
The response: "Guess who found a cool XXL Sabres top in Buffalo? I'm going to wear it as a dress to your funeral."
At least somebody is going to be dressed nice...


  1. That's nice of you to say. I'm think I'm pretty lucky, with the support I've received.