It must be good news that I can't remember what treatment week I am in now. I've met a couple of people this week who've told me that they are reading this blog regularly, and wondered how I was doing because I haven't posted an update for a while. It is such an encouragement to hear from people who care! Speaking for myself, I would suggest, if you have a friend who is sick or grieving or troubled, and you feel that you "don't know what to say" to them - then reach out! It says so much when you reach out, saying (or doing) something rather than nothing, that you shouldn't worry too much about saying absolutely the right thing.
Anyhow, the past month has been marked by slow but steady improvement in my strength, stamina and enjoyment of life. I've finished with all the numerous medications that I had to take - I seem to have enough leftovers to open a pharmacy! - and I don't have any pain worth mentioning. I'm also sleeping much better - it seems (though I'm not sure) as though the removal of my sinus tumor may actually be helping me sleep more comfortably. I've been rock-climbing a couple of times at Donation, and noticed my strength returning. The line in the picture is called the "Shark's Tooth" - by its easiest route it is not too hard, but I was pleased last week to find that I have the strength to pull up over the "tooth" again. I'm also considerably lighter, which ought to help my climbing but its most obvious effect is to make me need a new harness because the old one has become rather loose!
And I am enjoying getting back to the classroom in the low-stress environment of a graduate seminar. A couple of weeks ago, before classes began, I traveled back to Johns Hopkins for what I imagine will be the first of many follow-ups. Although this did not involve any detailed tests, the doctors were very pleased with my progress and made a lot of encouraging comments. And the DEVICE has succeeded in improving my jaw opening by about 40 percent! Next check-up is mid October and (unless something weird happens) I most likely won't post another health update until then. Time to get back to the enviro-blogging!