Today I complete the 23rd of 28 days of my radiation and chemotherapy treatment. I’ll be more than 80% through this first part of my treatment program. And while I wish I could tell you things are getting easier, the fact is, they are getting harder. Chemotherapy and radiation are cumulative, so over time, the…

Read More

She was crying in the change room next to me at the radiation treatment center. It was not a quiet weeping, but a heavy, infectious sobbing that crawled inside me. I didn’t see her. I didn’t talk to her. But I imagined what she might be experiencing. Maybe she’d just learned of her diagnosis. Or,…

Read More

Becky asked Dr. L, the Integrative Medicine cancer specialist, directly, “What are the odds that Tom will get the side effects from his treatment given his age and good health?” Dr. L  didn’t hesitate. “100%” He then paused for a few moments before adding, “We just don’t know which ones will show up and when…

Read More

The prescription bottle of chemotherapy tablets stood beside me through breakfast. I had already removed the first three 500mg tablets and placed them in the overturned prescription bottle cap. Doctor X. and the pharmacist both stressed the need to take them after food was in my stomach. So I finished breakfast and waited a little…

Read More

The radiation technician directed me to lie face down, arms above my head, on a almost-hard, molded body holder that positioned me from my head to my upper thighs on the platform of the CT Scanning machine. She then covered me with a warm, blanket-like sheet. I was here for the set up and staging…

Read More

Last Wednesday Dr. X, my new Oncologist, was straight with me in response to my many questions about the side effects of chemotherapy. “Listen, this treatment will be hard. And, yes, there will be side effects. There will be discomfort and maybe a number of other things will show up as well. You’ll be fatigued…

Read More

Scared of what lies ahead for me, I’m often caught in a cycle of worry, fear and uncertainty. I hate the fact that this cancer has shown up. I’m angry at it and what I need to do to fix it. As a result, all sorts of “what ifs” pass through my thoughts on a…

Read More

There is a phenomenon in business and life called a “planning fallacy” in which predictions about a future project or task display an optimism bias and underestimate the time, expense or resources needed to complete it. And, while I am pretty good at spotting the planning fallacy in my role as a business owner or executive…

Read More

After a full week of scans, testing and meetings with doctors, the verdict, though still inconclusive, suggests that I have Stage 3 rectal cancer, with possible spread to lymph nodes. It’s Stage 3 because the cancerous mass is, in fact, through the wall of the rectum. It is not contained as originally indicated in earlier…

Read More

Mandy welcomed Becky and I into her small treatment room. We’d been told by the lady who checked us in that she was the “angel” in this department. Becky sat on the treatment bed. I stood. The air seemed heavy and and the walls felt close. After some initial hello’s we got right to the…

Read More