My play-it-by-ear summer

One thing I’ve learned from the whole cancer thing is that, while it’s good to have plans, you never know what’s around the corner.

Over the past year of scans, chemo and surgeries, I’ve changed my perspective from having “definite” plans to creating “general” plans and just seeing what happens when I get there. I feel lighter as a result, telling myself I don’t really control things anyway. This is very challenging to my “INTJ” make-up, but I’m runnin’ with it!

Our “general” plans for the summer in northern California are working out just fine so far with some changes. The first little change was when I had to come out a week earlier than planned to help my mom deal with a small medical procedure. But we ended up with some extra time in northern California. Not bad!

Originally, our oldest daughter was set to fly solo for the first time, from Austin to San Francisco, to get to summer camp in Yosemite.  But with my earlier flight, I ended up flying at the same time, different airline, so she still got to fulfill her goal of flying as an “unaccompanied minor.” Probably not the independent trip she was planning for but oh well.  The logistics of handing off and picking up a kid flying solo were a bit complicated, but we reunited safe and sound.

The second “play-it-by-ear” change occurred a few days after arrival when my mom had a surprise overnight hospital stay.  Just a little blip but she has been advised to avoid high altitude for now, so we scrapped our plans for Mammoth (7000 ft) later this month and will probably go to the beach.  Better safe than sorry.

As I’m writing this, the little voice inside me is saying “Seriously? Are you really complaining about baby changes to your 80 degree vacation?”

But that’s part of the point.  I’m feeling good these days.  And I’m almost rejoicing in the opportunities to have little hiccups with airlines, since it’s such a contrast to the Chemo-Land I was in a few months ago.

I still take naps here and there, my joints are a bit stiff and achy, but am feeling 95% back to my old self. The neuropathy in my hands has almost disappeared 7.5 months after stopping the oxaliplatin portion of my chemo. The neuropathy in my feet is much better. I almost don’t think about it anymore. So, fellow FOLFOX friends, there is hope for the nerves!

I’m definitely enjoying my time this summer.  I’m feeling pretty relaxed about my upcoming check-up at MD Anderson in August. But every once in a while, in the midst of some activity, I remind myself to really appreciate the moment because you never know what’s around the corner.

6 thoughts on “My play-it-by-ear summer

  1. Oh my, I love these. You are such an inspiration to a grade A worrier like myself. Enjoy the blips…..and the cooler climes, as well.

  2. Hi Ivanna!
    I ‘ve been thinking of you and looking forward to seeing you, Doug, Aubrey, and Madison in August. We should be heading to Austin the first week of the month. Happy to hear your summer’s going well. Sleep-away camp for Aubrey, in Yosemite-wow! How exciting for her.

    Much love,

  3. Good news all around….except for the little “blip” with Maria. Hope she is doing well now. Ivor’s mum really enjoyed chatting with her on the phone a while back. Was it Camp Wawona that your daughter went to?

  4. I think that’s a good way to live anyway, making general plans and then adapting as you go. Can’t control everything!


  5. Ivanna, I am thrilled and thankful to read that you are feeling so good and doing so well. It’s especially good to read about the decreased neuropathy in your hands. I remember how awful that was. Blessings for your mom and your August check – so good you go into it feeling relaxed.

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