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The Good, The Bad, The What Now?
Journal entry by Michael March — 9/16/2016

It is said that “God won’t give you any more than you can handle" and I have always believed that. Today I discovered the terminal lung cancer is not more than I can or have to handle. We went to Johns Hopkins today for another CT Scan and some blood-work from the clinical trial I was in and an appointment with my oncologist as a follow up to everything. That is when our day got better, right before getting worse.

The good news from the drive to "Charm City" is that we were told the tumors in my lungs had not increased much, and might have actually gotten smaller. That means the treatment, chemotherapy, is "working". The most we have ever hoped for was the treatments would slow down the progress of the cancer to give me a few more months to live. It seems to be working and there is more hope that I will outlive that whole "6-12 months to live" thing. That is where the good news ended. And to be honest, having more months to live might not actually be good news from where I sit.

The bad news seems to be that there is a lesion, on the top of my right femur, that needs closer attention. It means either the cancer has spread to my right femur, or something new is going on there. I have an appointment at Hopkins with an Orthopedic Oncologist sometime soon to determine just what is going on, and what, if anything, can be done about it, or if in fact I care to do anything about it, if there is anything to be done at all.

They are not entirely sure if it is cancer in the bone or not, but that is what we are mentally steeling ourselves for. At least I am. We will know sooner than later, and I thought about this since leaving Hopkins today and I was hoping to finally catch a break. I just wanted a mental break this time, just this one time. But, the thread that connects us to the universe has other plans it seems.

Basically what I have to live with is knowing I could fracture my hip and things could get bad quickly. My oncologist at Hopkins suggested my hip may need surgery that most likely would need to be performed at Hopkins. This would be a highly specialized surgery, and few would even want to tackle it. So yeah, I got that to look forward to now.

I am not 100% sure if I want to go through something on the periphery of what is actually killing me. If the hip can just linger, and as long as I don't fracture it, the lung cancer will get me before anything else gets me, but who really knows. I really do not want a major surgical procedure that takes 6 -10 weeks to heal, while I am at the same time fighting lung cancer and getting chemo. I am preparing myself for an amputation of my right leg as the quickest way to deal with it, so the remaining months will not be so bad. I just know there will be three ways to go, and I have to pick one. Surgery, amputation, do nothing. I just wanted a damn break for once.

Really, there is only so much one person can absorb, handle, live and die with at one time. But that is where things stand. I still have cancer, I am still terminal, and it appears it has spread to my bones or could have. I'm gonna hang my hat on the slowness of the lung cancer and worry about the hip thing when I need to worry about it. Which means I will think about it constantly for the next 7-10 days and be ready for whatever comes.

Otherwise I would go off the rails and just call it good. But it just really is a punch to the gut. I would not trade anything for the life I have had, or the life I will continue to have and I still consider myself the luckiest guy on the planet.

Maybe I will have enough time going into next year to help with the Skyline Gaggle of Noobs Toys for Tots Effort for 2017. At least maybe set an impossible goal, and see if I can generate enough buzz to get lots of help from everyone else to get lots of members to join!

God certainly knows how much I can take, and I am learning with each doctor's visit just how much more I can take and have to take. I was just hoping for a short break, that's all, just a short break.

But this and everything else is in God's hands. So I didn't get the break I was looking for, or hoping for? So what! I still wake up each day thanking God for the sun shining through my window, or even the raindrops hitting the deck. There are many millions of people that have things so much worse than I do, which makes me ever the more grateful for all I have, all I have done, and for the wonderful people in my life.

My life is still a wonderful thing to experience, hour by hour and day by day.

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