Made it again!

Today is my birthday!

Normally, if there is a day in the year when I celebrate my continued survival, it’s Thanksgiving, because of the timing of my lymphoma diagnosis in 1981, and the powerful memory I have of going to my grandparents’ traditional Thanksgiving dinner and wondering if it would be my last.

This year, though, I’m feeling an extra pride and sense of accomplishment at reaching my birthday. Completing another trip around the sun isn’t always easy, and once again I’ve proven to be a pretty damn durable man. Heh.

Kimberly reminds me that today is six months since the biopsy at the start of this adventure. Six months. It seems like both too short and too long a time. No wonder I’m feeling extra proud to have made it back to October 5 this year.

In what I freely acknowledge is a sign that I am way too nerdy, I started my celebration last night by reconfiguring our home wi-fi network using the new Apple Time Capsule I’d bought myself as a sort-of present.

I suggest no one try to read any deeper meaning into the fact that I bought myself a device designed to protect one from calamity (by doing automatic over-the-air computer backups). And I’m sure it’s just coincidence that the same Apple order also included the extended warranty AppleCare coverage for my laptop.

Sure, armchair psychologists might think there is some significance in my preparing for disastrous system failures as I approached my birthday.  And they might not be entirely wrong. But those who know I had the solid-state drive on my laptop completely fail in July might wonder what’s taken me so long. Life is complicated and interpretation is tricky.

Anyway, other plans for my birthday are sure to destroy any image of me as a dynamic and exciting fellow, should that have mistakenly lingered somewhere. The radio antenna on my car got bent recently, so I’m planning on spending a little while swapping in the new part I ordered to replace it. Then, we’re off for a drive, to watch the odometer roll over to 100,000 miles in our 1997 Saab.

Yup, Mr. Excitement, me.

All right, it’s not quite so totally boring. We are going out to visit the farm that does our CSA, giving us a chance to be out in the country on what is turning out to be a lovely, sunny Fall day, and chat with the over-educated young couple who own the farm.

In other news… eggs are back! For some time, my tastebuds had been zapped in a way that meant I found the taste of eggs strangely off-putting. Which is ironic, given that we keep chickens, and eggs used to be a staple in my diet. A few days ago I tried them again, and they once more taste good! Yay! Ironically, our chickens are now molting, and egg production has plummeted. (I know, right?)

More patient updates: I’ve now gone about a month without using my PEG tube for nutrition. That’s a good thing, though it does require attention on my part to make sure I eat enough to keep my weight stable. My healed mouth tissues are still sensitive, both in taste and physically, and even a meal of bland, soft food can leave my mouth feeling sore for a while. Like so much else, it’s improving, but slowly. (In the meantime, I still have the PEG tube, which I keep in good shape and flush regularly, just in case.)

Since the last post, I’ve had another follow-up appointment with Dr. Baik, who was sufficiently satisfied with my progress that I’m now done with the medical oncology part of my treatment coverage.

And, we now have a date for my PET scan. The appointment will be November 4, and we’ll see Dr. Liao later that same day.

OK. The sun is out, and I’m thinking it’s time for a birthday doughnut at Top Pot! I gotta  go. Kimberly’s waiting to take me out.
Happy Birthday to me,
Happy Birthday to me,
Happy Birthday dear me-eee,
Happy Birthday to me.

11 thoughts on “Made it again!

  1. Have a wonderful birthday! Get out in the sun! I need to go do that myself…

    VERY best wishes,


  2. my dear cousin…so happy that you have found a wonderful way to celebrate your Bday! An Apple a day… I did not get a memo that the statement excluded technology products


  3. Glad you have good weather for breaking in the Saab, your chickens are growing new feathers and you have a date for a PET scan in less than a month. Happy Birthday !!! And many more…

  4. Four cheers from Houston, Paul! (On the way to a tennis tournament today, I asked Reed where he might like to spend Christmas. He said, “It doesn’t matter, as long as we get to see Uncle Paul and Aunt Kimberly.”)

  5. A birthday donut sounds like a very nice idea indeed. Which should not stop you from having birthday cake and maybe a birthday brownie or two as well. Yay for birthdays!

  6. Happy birthday, Paul. I am delighted that you completed another voyage around the sun. And if it means that the forthcoming year’s excitement is equal to that of replacing your car antenna, I am hoping that you have that level of excitement, rather than the one that you’ve had this year! May you enjoy a seriously eggy blintz or eggs benedict or somesuch in the near future to celebrate the round trip — you have certainly earned it.

  7. Belated happy birthday! I’m so glad that the news continues to be good. The lines from the birthday song at the end made me think of the French birthday song (which I learned when I was in the C.A.R.). One of the lines is “May the entire year be sweet and light for you, and at the end of the year, let us all be reunited.” That’s among my many good wishes for you. Love, Dara

  8. A (slightly belated) HAPPY BIRTHDAY to you! (And a more belated Happy Birthday to Kimberly!) Sounds like a terrific birthday day to me. May you both have many more!

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