Sunday, August 30, 2009

August 30, 2009 Inspiration !!

Sorry its been a little while since I have posted anything but it has been a wonderfully busy few weeks !! The intergenerational camp at Great Camp Sagamore went really well. It was a great group and wonderful way for Sagamore to finish Grands for the summer. Last week Peggy and I were in Maine. I went to Mt Desert Island and had a wonderful time with some good friends who live on Otter Cliffs road, the seas were wild from the tropical storm off shore and on Monday Henry took us out in his Lobster boat to check things out !! One of the highlights of the trip was getting back over to Little Cranberry Island and having a chance to see an old friend, Ashley Bryan. Ashley is a wonderful author, painter and storyteller who is a full time resident of Islesford. At 86 years young his creative juices are still flowing strong and his enthusiasm for life is contagious ! He showed us all the original art work for his new book that will be released later this year“All things bright and beautiful”. It was such an inspiration to spend some time with him and so great to find him in good health and still loving every minute of every day !! A lesson that I have learned myself. Also while on the island I got to have some wonderful food,{lots of lobster and sea food !} thanks so much Gail. I spent the second half of the week at Meadowlark music camp helping Peggy with her classes and doing a concert set together. It was wonderful to see everyone who had been so incredibly supportive of Peggy and I during the winter and fall. It was also great to see some old friends and play some wonderful music. We arrived home on Sat. evening and today we are both feeling refreshed and ready to get into our Fall mode !!

Things are progressing nicely and over the last few weeks I have been able to eat some softer meats like chicken and roast beef and I am slowly beginning to put some more weight on. I am still resting during the day when I can, and enjoying the bursts of energy when they happen. The music work has become more comfortable and I don’t feel as panicked about performing as I did during the beginning of the summer, also my voice is slowly becoming a bit stronger even as low as it is. I feel a great sense of accomplishment having been able to perform most of my summer gigs. Although I still get a bit tired out it has been an enormous emotional and psychological boost! I hope to be able to have the peg tube taken out some time in the first few weeks of September if all goes well. I’ll also see the chemotherapy oncologist on Sept.14th. It has been such a treat to see so many of you at concerts throughout the summer. Words can’t describe how grateful I am to be able to be out playing music and for all the support shown to Peggy and I as my recovery progresses. We are really looking forward to our Fall music schedule and seeing so many of you along the way. Our friend Annette Backus from Maine sent us a wonderful “Soft Food” poem that I have posted below, Thanks Annette! Thanks so much again for all the support and I’ll look for you at 7:00.

The Food Mood
Annette Backus

The year I got Cancer, the doc’s had the answer
Soft foods were what I had to eat
So we pondered and thought, what’s allowed and what’s not
And developed a list - quite a feat

Some choices were clear, I could probably have beer
Although peanuts were out, what a bummer
I couldn’t eat steak, so make no mistake
This would not be my favorite summer

Although I’m quite mellow {?}, I couldn’t stand jello !
I really craved something to crunch
And I got quite rude, when thinking about food
Whether breakfast, or dinner or lunch.

So Peggy and I came up with a plan
That has worked for us all through my healing
What I can do, is pretend how to chew
Which can make any food quite appealing.

So… now I enjoy any food that I want
Crunchy or chewy, no matter
The only drawback to, though to “virtual” foods,
Is that they cannot make me fatter !

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

8/11/09 Small bursts of energy !!

It has been a wonderful week of traveling and performing with some really nice programs. Highlights include CafĂ© Lena, a dance at Tannery Pond and the Adirondack Music festival in Schroon Lake over the weekend. One of the best parts of doing the gigs is getting to see so many folks who have been so supportive of Peg and I during this whole process, it really is touching and for me quite emotional. I am starting to feel more comfortable performing, a month ago each job was a bit of a panic and I was not sure how things would work out, but the more we’re out playing the more natural it is beginning to feel. I am also starting to get some little bursts of energy every once in a while, it really gives me hope for things to turn around even more as time passes. Eating is still a chore but I have started to be able to eat some soft chicken and cold cuts and that has really helped a lot. Also this week I hade my first beer in over six months! The first sip went right up my nose but then things settled down and I was able to sip it down. Unfortunately it is still quite a job to get food and drink of any type down but the main thing is that I am seeing progress and that is a wonderful thing!! I am still getting quite tired from the performances but a little bit of napping can go a long way and the positive impact of being out working is just amazing.

Yesterday I saw the ENT and it was a really good visit. He reviewed my last pet scan and showed me where most of the up tick in activity is. Basically its right where most of the surgery and the bulk of the radiation was concentrated, so he also believes we need to wait until later this summer or fall when my throat has healed more to do another scan and see if things are looking clearer. He feels for a little over 3 months post treatment that I am doing great and actually was pretty amazed that I am able to do as much as I have been doing. He also was encouraging about the numbness in my hand. He has seen the carple tunnel nerve be affected by Chemotherapy many times before and thought there was a good chance that in time it might heal itself. He did look down my throat and told me it is far from being healed but the throat is making slow progress. The best news is I only need to see him every other month now, down from once a month and that is really encouraging!!

This is going to be another busy week but I am really looking forward to it! After the weekend I will doing a week of intergenerational camp at great camp Sagamore and if all goes well I may even be able to get the lost pond boat in the water. I can’t tell you thankful I am for each and every day and that I can be out doing what we love best, it really seems like a miracle to me after all that happened this Spring! But I know that this healing process would not be as successful without all of the wonderful thoughts and prayers coming from so many of you. I know I have said it before but it means so much to Peggy and I and I am so grateful. I look forward to seeing some of you later this summer and fall and as always I’ll be looking for you at 7:00 !!