Wednesday June 10, 2015 Previous Post Link:
Big Meadows Campground Lewis Falls Trail in Shenandoah National Park
Shenandoah National Park
Today David left to go back to Charlottesville to get the results from his myeloma blood tests of last Friday and determine whether to continue with this current treatment by getting the velcade shot today. I talked to him later in the day and the results are not bad, not good. His numbers have really not changed which isn’t getting him closer to remission or an oral medication with which he can travel BUT the good thing is his numbers haven’t gone up either. So he plods on with this triple cocktail that requires he go into the hospital for a chemo shot every Wednesday.
The bad news is that he has been having jaw and chest pain on exertion when we are hiking as I mentioned yesterday. So his doctor set him up for a stress test and echo cardiogram. He did that today too. All day long in the hospital. First the cardiac lab then the oncology clinic. You’d think he was 95 not in his 60’s.
The results from cardiac tests were immediate and show he has some significant blockage in an artery. They immediately put him on a beta blocker and a statin, as if he isn’t taking enough drugs already. These are the same drugs I refused to take when they told me the same thing after the same tests.
He’s getting scheduled for a cardiac catheterization next week. That’s also what I had. Depending on what that shows, he may have to have a stent put in or who knows what other invasive procedure they may recommend but until then, no hiking inclines. For him that means no hiking or biking since there are no flat places in the mountains of Virginia. I’ll be doing my hiking alone for the foreseeable future.
It’s pretty hard to understand how a man in such seemingly good health 3 years ago who exercised, was a vegetarian (mostly), and didn’t smoke could have both cancer and heart disease. Is it really all in the genes and it doesn’t really matter what you do? We know lots of people who are seriously overweight, eat foods soaked in oil, salt and sugar and they don’t have nearly the restrictions on their life that we do now. David says they might all be on beta blockers, statins, have stents and/or have had heart surgery. Maybe so. I’ve never asked them.
Perhaps Dr. Esselstyn, whose program I used to avoid statins, beta blockers and stents, is correct. You can take no breaks from the Whole Foods Plant Based No oil diet if you don’t want to have heart disease as you age. In my opinion, David takes too many breaks.
I wasn’t going to even talk about this except that people have been asking about his results. Sorry for the whiny post. I’m feeling pretty down about all of this as is David. When’s the sunshine going to show up in our lives? We retired early but it’s clear he sure should have retired at least 10 years before he did.
Those of you younger than we are who are waiting until you “have enough money", “can get full retirement” or any of the other standard reasons for working 40+ years, take heed. That Life is SHORT is a very serious understatement and unless you take some risks you may not have the freedom to follow your dreams until it is too late to do it. How much money you need depends entirely on you and how much you actually have to spend to maintain a lifestyle that makes you happy. It’s not money but your health that will determine your joy. So be careful.
Back tomorrow with something more pleasant.