Mark and I have much to be grateful for at this Thanksgiving season. Just last Friday, we received an early "Thanksgiving gift": for the first time since it started rising almost a year ago, Mark's PSA actually went *down* a half-point over the past month. His oncologist was (pleasantly) somewhat surprised. Now, rather than having the PSA drawn every month, we don't have to come back until January. If the trend continues, every other month will become every three months. Of course, the cancer is still there. It will always be there. But, for now, it is contained, and we are grateful.
Mark expressed some of his thoughts to members of his family in an email this past weekend. With his permission, I am sharing some of what he wrote:
"Just wanted everyone to know that my PSA (tumor marker) has stabilized and my last visit on Friday showed it decreasing. It means the medication I'm on is working. I was curious as to why after slowly rising for several months my PSA leveled off and is now going down. I believe it's related to several things. Every time we start our physical yoga practice, we are asked to set an intention for class. Mine has been to send my love and consequently the love of the universe to my cancer, never to be adversarial or have any other negative energy regarding the cancer.
"Additionally I believe all the love sent to me by my family is a significant factor. Most importantly I have the love, support, and extremely positive influence of my husband Joseph who keeps me on the hopeful rails and reminds me daily to be here now.
"I generally feel well. I skied everyday last week. My yoga practice is deep and refreshing. The ducks in my life are all in a row and I am content."
As it happens, we are currently on our way to visit our daughter Hannah and her family in Vancouver, B.C. for Thanksgiving. What a sweet time it will be, to share this special time with family.
Before we head on up to Canada, however, we are stopping in Anacortes, Washington for a couple of days to visit friends we have met on our cycling trips. I wrote here about one of the couples we are visiting who have had their own experience with the landscape of cancer. Jen was the one who leaned across the table at lunch on the last day of our cycling trip and said to Mark, "Decide not to be a number [a statistic], Mark." He has so decided, Jen, and Jizo continues to watch over him.