March Madness!

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March 31, 2014   As March comes to a close, it’s time to recap the madness that is the month of March in our lives.  Let’s just say this was one hectic month.  I don’t think I had one weekend in which we did nothing…you know, those lounge around the homestead and read a book or your Kindle.  It was just one thing after another, culminating in the watching of college basketball twenty-four-seven.
Except for me (and Nixie), every member of my family traveled either out-of-town or out-of-state during March.  In fact, for a small window on March 7th, Nixie and I were all alone at home while everyone else was trotting the globe…or, at the very least, flying in and out of Memphis.  Emily came home for college Spring Break on the same day that both Zach and Vicki left town.  Zach, who was already on break, headed to a tournament north of Nashville, while Vicki flew to Houston for best friends’ reunion.  She and her friends from College Station get together every two years or so.
March is one of my favorite months. It’s the beginning of Spring – supposedly.  Saint Patrick’s Day is always fun to celebrate and there’s basketball – lots and lots of basketball.  For the past few years, I have not been into March Madness as I was in the past, but this year I have been border line obsessed.  It might have something to do with my alma mater – Florida – being the number one team in the country.  Although I’ve watched a lot of other teams play, as well, I think it’s allowed me to connect with the excitement and electricity that comes with these match ups that are now all about win or go home. Even if I don’t care for either team, I still find myself rooting for the underdog or hoping the game will come down to the last shot. And this year’s NCAA tournament has not disappointed with underdog victories and last second heroics.
Perhaps that’s a metaphor for my journey with melanoma: an underdog victory over a deadly disease using the last second heroics of modern pharmaceuticals.  As Vicki likes to remind me every night, “those pills,” as I like to call them, are keeping me alive and my cancer in-check.  So, I’ll continue my maddening “march” to – someday – becoming cancer free.  That will be the ultimate underdog victory.

– – –

On March 19th, I had a CAT scan to look at the two (2) remaining tumors in my right lung.  One of the tumors continues to get smaller, but not significantly so, while the other tumor is so tiny at this point (around 1 mm) that any change is almost impossible to measure.  My doctor decided to wait on any removal procedure or other action until I have a full PET scan in mid-June.  I think the fact that the cancer is, for now, isolated and stagnant makes taking on surgery unnecessary.  We continue to hope and pray that the Gleevec will work its wonders, and I can watch my children graduate from college.  That sounds a bit melodramatic, but I have to remind myself that my type of cancer is – technically – incurable.

Still seems surreal.  I need to also tell myself to feel “blessed” everyday.

On to North Texas for the Final Four!