I had a surgery last month, then I had my follow up appointment with the doc... guess how these things make me feel.
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Emotions set on - roller coaster.

You would think that after 5 surgeries, and a bunch of procedures, that the follow up appointment at the Doctors office would be now a normal everyday thing.  Well, it really isn't.
As the time passes, you mind will always bounce around back and forth - everything that happens, makes you wonder...... "ok catheter was left in for a few days - this was supposed to be simple - did something not good happen", your mind will compare how you feel - physically - this time compared to the last 4 times you went through this.  "Do I feel worse or better, than last time?".
Your mind will also consider the options.... "he mentioned Carcinoma-in-situ last cysto, better google that 5000 times".  Although there are always good sides to consider, you mind won't dwell on a thought that is "no problem".  So, you will feel like you are always dwelling on the negative.  But that is the reality - you don't dwell on an outcome that has no negative impact, as there is no concern...

All this to state - I had completely thought through every possible scenario about what he might, could, maybe say.  But, that becomes the problem - thinking through a scenario that has no end in sight... planning long term hasn't been in our vocabulary for the last 2 years... what does the future look like for us?  That really keeps a mind busy, confused and concerned.

So, the end result.......

....was on the really good end of the spectrum.  I mentioned it in my May update on the blog - but overall, I have come to believe that is was possibly the best news that was available given the circumstances......if not, definitely in the top 3 of the list of all time best possible responses to get from an Oncologist (as measured by some stats company that is right 90% of the time, 19 times out of 20).  I may have had a drink or 3 in celebration in the days that followed.
In simplest of terms, the treatments have been working, and we are really happy about that... now I get 2 years of what I would call "preventative maintenance" which should set me up for the long term.  Key to this will be no recurrence over the next few years... in about 5 years, I would end up in the 60% probability of recurrence ... so, I just need to make it 5 years, when they would only monitor me annually and get my life back on a normal routine.

The big sigh of relief is not counterbalanced with - "I have 2 years now to figure out the rest of my life".  This will include sorting out a military career vs medical release decision, what sort of problem child I will become to Veterans Affairs Canada (no matter what the military decision is), and if I am going to grow up and get a real job - what will I/can I - do?

But now the bad news....

I have decided to discontinue the newsletter for an indefinite period of time.
I have found that I end up putting all my thoughts and energy into this private chat area, but not posting it into the public portion of the website was not part of my overall plan. This has resulted in my blog posts being less cancer related.  
My goals for this channel were partly about learning this portion of my online course, and thinking that I would be able to provide a better consideration for people more interested in my journey.  This has resulted in challenges that I hadn't anticipated trying to maintain content control, sincerity, and routine scheduling.

Moving forward, I will be posting all of these newsletters as a large blog post within 2 weeks.  I would like to encourage those that are not subscribers to the website, please sign up. My intent is to try and bring the focus of the website back towards the cancer journey, less about what distractions I have going on in my life.  I will be able to better focus the posts, and develop a more structured posting regimen.
Scroll down to the bottom of any page, and there is an area in the middle of the page to put your email address in.  Like the sign up for this, you will get an email to make it a double opt in, to prevent spammy stuff.

Thanks again for being a part of this experiment, and I look forward to continued discussion on the main website.  I won't fully destroy this information, as I think that I might keep it alive in case I fold the website and just use this avenue of conversation.  

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