Friday, August 8, 2008

Nothing but Good News

It's hard to believe, but today, almost 16 years from when I reported to AOCS in Pensacola, I was promoted to Commander. It's something I've aspired to reach since starting out in the Navy; it's the rank that as a JO in a squadron one associates with leadership more than any other. Now I'm officially one of the old guys.

The PACFLEET N3/N7 read the oath to me. After that, he and my wife pinned on the new hardware. My kids and my father-in-law were also there, making it that much more special. There was no speech; I thanked Joselynn for getting me to where I was today, and to the folks at PACFLEET for being so accommodating these last 9 months, what with my treatment, surgery and all. Then we hustled out of there and had a coffee before the girls all headed off to school.

I called Tripler to get the results of my latest blood work, and it was good news as well. All my counts are increasing, and my tumor marker shows nothing significant. Additionally, I had a CAT scan on Thursday and that showed the cloudiness in my lungs is clearing up. The doctor is not sure whether it is from some infection (one of my cultures tested positive for an unknown bacteria) or from toxicity damage due to oxaliplatin. The important thing is it appeared to be improving. I will continue on with treatment #10 on Monday.

From that qualitative prognosis to my own quantitative one: I got back on the horse and ran a few miles. I was not huffing and puffing (granted I took it easy) and my final heart rate, while higher than normal, quickly went down to a near-resting rate within 5 minutes.

Since it has been 6 months since my surgery, I also started back on my strength training. Not surprisingly my abdominal work was the toughest, and I could feel where the muscles are different after the surgery. I'm taking it slow but I do have a goal of 100 sit ups in two minutes by November.

I also took the dogs to the vet, and all is well with them. Max, our "puppy", is now almost as big as Lane, and he is just 6 months old.

Saturday is also our 16th anniversary!

Finally, I enjoyed some pre-season football. One of the great things about Hawaii is the time difference; prime-time East coast games are an early afternoon affair; during the regular season the first game starts at 0700 on Sunday (hey Joe, remember the "Church of the NFL"?). I can watch the first game and when it's finishing up the kids are just getting out of bed!

This weekend will be one of celebration - for our 16th anniversary, my promotion, and my improving health. Tomorrow is "date night" for Jos and myself. Sunday will be a family day. Monday it's back on the chemo train for the 3rd-to-last-stop. All good things.