I haven’t posted recently. First, because every year in November we return to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, where we’ve spent much of our lives, and what we do there seems to be, for the most part, a repeat of what we’ve been doing for years. So no need to repeat myself, or write about what I’ve already written about so many times for the many publications we’d published here over the years. Been there, done that.
In the spring, however, we returned to Europe, which usually entails a series of new adventures, adventures we’d been planing and working on while in Mexico. But this year I returned with something I certainly hadn’t been expecting to bring – cancer.
I had been suffering from an irritating sore since the past summer and it just wouldn’t go away. On my return to Mexico I visited my doctor for my annual check-up and everything, including all blood work, came back fine. I’ve been doing this for 15 years now. Perhaps overkill, but gives me some piece of mind. My doctor first prescribed antibiotics, but they did nothing. So he sent me to a specialist. He looked down my throat, finished and asked me three questions: Do you smoke, do you have acid reflux or do you drink much? My answer was no to all three. He then said there was a bump at the base of my tongue and he wanted a CAT scan done. That led to identifying a tumor settled in its base. The next step was a biopsy to determine whether it was benign or malignant – it came back malignant. From there it was identifying if it was a lymphoma (good one) or carcinoma (bad one) cancer. It was the bad one.
A long line of bad news. But I did receive some good news in that I tested positive for the papilloma virus. This, I would eventually learn, meant that the cancer would most likely react very positively to chemo and radio therapy treatments. And to date, that is proving, thankfully, to be true.
With this information I returned to Europe, to Paris, and for treatment, to the Curie Institute, which is known for being one of the best cancer treatment hospitals in the world. And I was fortunate enough to get in.
Since then I have begun my treatment involving chemo and radio therapy. And although I am in Paris, this isn’t a “travel” visit, but a medical one. So there won’t be any traveling of any significance to write about for this blog. But what it has given me is a lot of time to think, read and write. And so I’ve decided to add a series of postings of my thoughts on different issues, some related to cancer, some not at all, from what I’ve been reading and what I’ve been going through. My “traveling” has turned inwards, at least for the next few months or so.
I post because it helps me to recall where we’ve been and what we’ve done. They are here for me to easily to access at anytime. And if it can be of any assistance to fellow travelers, well, that’s great as well. I hope that my cancer posts will provide a similar road map for me, to sometimes in the future look back at where I was, and what was on my mind.