Friday, July 21, 2017

Crunch Time

I'm feeling pretty overwhelmed right now. My schedule for the next three weeks is ridiculous. Rehearsals, practice, and party planning. Blood tests and consultations. Three weeks from now, two major events long in the works will be behind us. I'll have had my next PSA test, and know if the experiment was a success. I'll know if there's a good clinical trial for me. I'll make major, and perhaps final decisions regarding treatment. But all of those things have to wait. Right now, it's crunch time.

Starting Saturday, three out of four days will be spent in rehearsals. Not every rehearsal takes all day, but they all take 100% of that day's energy. All the spoons in the drawer. Two of the rehearsals are for a performance a week from Saturday, and the other two are for a show two weeks from Sunday. As my friend Todd says, for a guy who's retired from music, I sure am doing a lot of it.

Of course, in addition to rehearsals, there's also a lot of individual practice time. This is especially true this time, because of one particular song. I'm accompanying a soloist singing Leonard Coen's Hallelujah. I'm to accompany her on keyboard. I am not an accompanist, to which my soloist can attest. But I could have made it easier for myself. I could have kept it simple. But then, I'm me. I had to make a big arrangement out of it, complete with a key change on the last verse. I had to vary what I play in each verse to keep it building. I wanted to make it special for the singer I'm accompanying. So it's really hard. For me, anyway. But I'm not gonna water it down. I'm gonna do whatever it takes to make sure it's great. Not for me, for the soloist. If I do my job, everyone will be talking about her, not me. I want to do well for her. So I practice, practice, practice.

After rehearsals Saturday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, we have one day to get ready for houseguests to arrive on Friday the 28th. Our friends Christopher and Lori Caminiti will be staying with us for the next five days. Our friends Derek and Amber will also stay with us over Saturday night. This is why we have two guest rooms now.

The next day, Saturday, July 29th, my wife and I will celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary with the biggest party we've ever thrown. As of now, our guest list stands at about 70 people. Three bands will play. Of course, I'm in all of them! Which is why I have so many rehearsals.

After the party, we entertain our guests and I have more rehearsals for the summer show with the kids. The day after the Caminitis leave, August 2nd, I have the blood draw for my next PSA test. Then dress rehearsal with the kids on Friday the 4th followed by the show on Sunday the 6th.

I expect to have the results of my PSA test by Friday. I'll probably find out if it's good news or bad during dress rehearsal sometime. If it's good news, I'll tell. If not, I'll keep it to myself until rehearsal is over. Maybe till the show is over.

Monday, August 7th, I have a consultation with a doctor at the local University Hospital about potential clinical trials I might be a candidate for. The next day, August 8th, I meet with my oncologist to discuss all of this and decide where to go from here.

With a schedule like this, there's little room for rest and recovery days. I doubt I'll get one next week at all. But I'm not complaining. I'm thankful that I can still do all of these things. Someone posted a picture of her husband's bone scan on Facebook this past week. It didn't look as bad as mine, but she said her husband is in terrible pain. If I remember correctly, he is on morphine and also has oxycontin (or maybe oxycodone) for "breakthrough pain." And here I am with a spine full of cancer, and with cancer in my hip bone and tailbone, and I don't even need ibuprofen. It's a miracle. No one can convince me otherwise. God is giving me this time. So I'm gonna make the most of it.

That said, can you see why I'm a little overwhelmed? But there isn't one item on this list I'd set aside. Not even what could be a very unpleasant consultation with my oncologist. I can power through for three more weeks. Then, once it's all past and we can exhale, once the shows are over and things are back to normal, once we know for sure what my options for treatment are and what my updated prognosis is, we'll have a much better idea of what our future looks like.

I know three weeks is no time at all. It's gonna fly by. I can't get hung up on outcomes right now. Right now, it's crunch time. #waroncancer #bearingwitness

1 comment:

  1. Praying continually mark for strength and wisdom for decisions you will need to make