Rough ride this morning. Hardly slept last night at all, with the concern about my wife’s (Karen) most-of-body PET scan yesterday, results we’d be seeing this morning, along with a video call with her new oncologist.
For some reason I ride ok without sleep. At least on a given random day. Pile them together and it’s another story. But rode OK with ex-Pilot up Kings (younger Kevin bailed, saying his stomach was giving him issues). I wasn’t worried too much about getting back in time for the 10:30am video call with Karen’s doctor, so when we came to a pretty long traffic control stop as we headed down 84 towards West Old LaHonda, no biggie, right? It was actually a pretty long stop, but again, lots of time.
Took it pretty easy on West Old LaHonda because, after all, I had lots of time. On a normal ride I need to be back home by 9:45 to take a shower, eat, and get to work by 10:30 to get things ready to open. Today, I just needed to get back home by 10:10 or so, enough time to take a shower and be ready for the 10:30 video meeting. So an extra 25 minutes! No problem.
That was before I got a flat tire on West Old LaHonda. Something that happens maybe once or twice a year for me. But of course, today. And then I discovered I had installed a shorter-valve tube into a wheel that requires a longer valve. Oh well. Still got time. Never did find what caused the flat.
Got going again, and yeah, that big safety margin was going away. Looking at my tire after descending 84 (actually, I was watching it the entire time, concerned it might go flat again), it’s not looking good. Slow leak. Make it as far as Woodside Road & Kings and gotta stop again. This time, I’m not going to chance another repair, there was something in the tire I hadn’t seen earlier. I call Becky to come out and get me, and of course, while waiting, I did find the small piece of glass that caused so much trouble. Eventually I make it home, in a car, bike on back… at 10:15. Very fast shower and my wife and I are ready to go for the video call with the doctor.
We already knew the PET scan looked pretty good; that came up in a message from Kaiser. We won’t be able to get used to this particular doctor; she’s going on maternity leave next week! That seemed a bit strange… she’s not going to be there when any important decisions are made. But she’s taken Karen’s case to the “tumor board” tomorrow morning, where she discusses my wife’s case with various other doctors, trying to come up with the best treatment.
Unfortunately, we don’t yet have all the data we need; the biopsy from the lung didn’t have enough material for immuno and genetic testing, so she’s going back again for another biopsy, hopefully very soon. We asked whether we should be cancelling our planned December vacation due to treatment; she said that it’s not that big a deal to skip a treatment in the middle, in the “grand scheme of things.” And I’m thinking, the treatment protocol is a protocol that is known to work if you stick to it. Yeah, I’m one of those that never ever misses a dose of medicine. But since we don’t have any idea what treatment is going to look like, who knows. Right now, we just have to wait.
It’s frustrating, seeing my wife looking healthy and feeling well, and knowing this will be changing (hopefully, presumably, not from the cancer but from the treatments to buy us a whole lot of time). Why can’t we just put cancer on hold, leave things as they are, and keep on moving forward with our lives? In the science fiction realm, we’d put Karen in some kind of suspended animation (ok, it’s always a deep freeze, and she doesn’t like cold…) and bring her back when there’s a cure in a few years. Because right now there is no cure, just a variable amount of time, depending upon how well various treatments work. And it will be treatments plural, because the way this stuff works (when it works), the cancer eventually finds a way around it (mutates) and you have to move on to something else. Only one thing is constant, and that’s me. I have no intention of moving on from Karen. I intend to keep her in my life as long as I possibly can.