Thoughts: How’re You Doing?

Off Season 2_resize

They answer the question, even as they ask it. “You look great. How are you?”

According to the doc, I am doing great. Way ahead of the year to eighteen month recovery schedule that is normal. I have my color back. I am back to working. I can taste food again. The scars are healing just fine and I assume the ones in my innards are too because the pain is down to a dull ache that I most ignore except when I laugh or cough.

But I am far from well. There’s plenty of plumbing issues. They will be better as I continue my daily rehab, but it’s all interminably slow.  I can’t life more than a dozen pounds. Try that sometime. It seems like everything I want to pick up is more than ten pounds. I tire some days. And I am fine on others.

That’s the strangest thing. The unpredictability. Some days I feel great. Strong. Alert. Almost normal. Other days I struggle. I am weak. All I want to do is sleep. My brain is foggy.

I can’t blame any of it on the medicine. I pretty much kicked away the serious pain meds as soon as I left the hospital. I dumped the Tylenol a couple of weeks later. So I am just on the same regimen of medication that have been part of my life for years.

SO what is left is that it’s all just part of the healing. The body dealing with trauma at it’s own pace and path, and like most paths, there’s not much straightness to it. You just go with it. There’s an exhaustion to it, but really, what else do you do?

I am almost out of the woods, but not quite. I have a round of tests on Friday and find out Tuesday if indeed, as expected, we got it all. Part of me wants to scream. “I went through all this and we still don’t know? Not fair!”.  But I eventually return to being a grownup. It just is what it is. Keep those prayers and positive thoughts coming.

I meant that. I have been blessed, so blessed, with prayers and other forms or good juju from so many people through this. Friends. Colleagues. Church members and entire churches. It has been wonderfully overwhelming, and I truly believe it has made a difference in what the doc calls my remarkable recovery so far.

So bear with me. I covet your prayers this last (I hope) week or so.

The rest of the work is mine. It’s just work. Daily work. It will take months. I can do it. I am doing it. I am tired of it, but I am very motivated. I felt great before all this. Great. And I plan to feel great again. Good days and bad, I do the work.

For me, it’s just a new battle. I battle my depression. And now I battle this. Unlike the depression, this one has a shelf life, a time that, if I do the work, I will get better. The depression will just be, forever.

I have said this before. I believe this cancer journey has made me more compassionate, more aware, and hopefully, more proactively kind. It’s hard NOT to be humbled and learn from something like this.

So that’s how I am. I look good I am told. Even ten pounds lighter. I mostly move OK. (Sitting and standing still has some issues.). I can mostly live my life. There’s still things that need healing and fixing and that’s mostly on me.

And I am still in waiting mode to know. That’s tiring.

But mostly I am grateful. I feel loved. I have learned life lessons. There’s light at the end of this tunnel even if I am not sure how far off it is.

I can live with that.

Be well. Travel wisely,


PS: the picture was taken in Surry County, Virginia. I titled it in my head as “The Off Season”, because it is in the off season, after the harvest, when the weather is bad, cold and wet. (We have more snow and ice predicted for today.), that we do the things that make the spring productive and green. And that is what I feel like I am doing with my own life right now.


  1. You say exactly how I feel. Diagnosed with AML in 2016and again in 2018. Had stem cell transplant 1year ago. Yes I’m fine just don’t get into my head. Work hard one day, down the next. Chemo brain has taken my short term memory and other abilities. Depression is real! Have been deemed cancer free, for now. What if it comes back? Every day I wonder. You have put this in a perspective that a cancer survivor can understand but most people still think you’re fine! Look great

  2. My healing prayers, and positive thoughts, for you, Tom, are continuing to come
    to you.
    May you continue to find a little more strength, each and every day. 💝


  3. Thank you for this reminder so many of us are fighting battles no one else can guess about.All the best to you in your recovery…

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