Tuesday, May 3, 2016
Seeking the New Normal
A few weeks back, Debi and I went to Toronto, spent the night at the Royal York Hotel, ate a very nice meal in the Library Bar and had, for the first time in months, a normal night out. Two weeks ago, we drove to Pittsburgh ( I have always wanted to visit Pittsburgh and we can talk about that later). A road trip with a detour through an amazing state park, a night in a fabulous inn with a great meal, a couple of sunny hot days in Iron City drinking local grappa, sampling city made gin and eating truly interesting food.
The key difference between these recent experiences and what I did immediately before being diagnosed are actually pretty remarkable. Just prior to the diagnosis, I could barely eat and had no appetite. We could still travel but it just wasn't all that enjoyable for me and I suspect my discomfort made it truly unpleasant for Debi. Now my appetite is back. I can eat just about anything. I can only eat about a third of what I used to eat and my love of beer has been shelved. But I can eat and there is nothing wrong with a white wine or a good grappa. A couple of nights ago I had a bowl of potato garlic soup which was incredible. I loved the flavours, the texture, the taste. The fact that it was a small bowl was of little consequence. The wine I had with the soup was crisp, tart, cold and a bit too expensive but I am not complaining.
All my doctors tell me that the next couple of years are key. This is the time of watchfulness. The first 24-36 months after my type of surgery is the time when a re-occurrence is most likely. My surgeon says, I tell people, spend the first few years doing the things you most like doing. It is a plan.
So the new normal? Figuring out what a decent sized meal really is. Finding wines I really like. Reading books that matter and appeal to me. Talking with and spending time with people I truly enjoy. Writing what matters to me. Travelling with Debi wherever we can and whenever we can. Being with and content in the moment. This is all the new normal.