The Best of Times

Recovery from colon surgery is going well and has had its ups and downs.  The recovery is far less painful compared to that of my lung surgery.  I met with my oncologist today who told me to focus on healing from surgery and then begin a schedule to get CT scans every three months.  I was very excited and relieved by this news because I was worried I would need additional chemo or radiation immediately following the surgeries.  So it looks like I will begin to have CT scans every three months to see if the cancer comes back.  Thank you for your prayers and positive thoughts.  Going five days on a clear liquid diet was tiresome.  I should be able to return to my normal diet by Thanksgiving.  I have lost a lot of weight over the past two months and hope to gain it back in the next three months.

When I began chemo, I expected to lose my hair or experience thinning of my hair.  My thought process was…why should I pay for a haircut when it’s just going to fall out?  So I haven’t gotten a haircut during this time and it looks ridiculous.  Janie and I think my hairstyle is similar to Kurt Russell’s in pretty much any of his movies.  The funny thing is I went from a No. 5 guard, buzz cut, to Kurt Russell and many people that see me don’t know why I haven’t gotten it cut.  I told myself I would get it cut when I’m cancer free.  Now I’ve found myself strangely attached to my hair and how it’s a symbol of rebellion in my fight with cancer.  Every time I see myself in the mirror or a person comments on it, I think about all I have experienced during the past nine months.

I do not want to go back to living my life the way I was before being diagnosed.  Cancer turned my life upside down and I never want to lose the clarity my mind has now.  I notice and appreciate everything I see and I know I would not have this perspective unless I went through something traumatic.

Early on in my treatment I befriended John, he is young and has the same diagnosis and is now 4 years in remission.  In a discussion of how grateful and blessed I felt and the clarity I had, he shared this with me…I can experience what someone would call a “bad day” and think Wow! I am so glad to be alive and have this bad day today.  What a thrill!  Suddenly, your “bad day” starts to turn around.

I like this because it’s an example of what I mean by clarity.  I know life is stressful, but it is also beautiful.  When I start seeing more beauty in life, I am less stressed.  I hope to hold onto this mindset forever.

Reno Hightower

Reno Hightower

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