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  • Writer's pictureJessy Tolkan

Ground Hog Day Was This Week? - It feels like it Everyday :) Day 75

We've all the seen the movie. Bill Murray wakes up day after day at exactly the same time, and he lives the SAME EXACT day over and over again. A great movie, a classic, and on television constantly this week as it WAS ACTUALLY GROUND HOG DAY. Punxatony Phil didn't see his shadow - 6 more weeks of winter? Maybe on the east coast, but the Groundhog Gordy at the Milwaukee County Zoo DID see his shadow, so we'll cross our fingers that it means an early spring is on its way here in Wisconsin:)

Health Update:

It's a milestone day - DAY 75!!!!!! Yes there are times when it feels like 75 years, but I' 3/4 of the way to the magic 100 number when in theory I may get the green light to return to DC, and along with that relocation maybe some new privileges in the real world. I've been at the hospital for several hours today getting thoroughly checked out to review progress since last week's surgery, and take get a comprehensive look at my overall progress.

On the docket for the today:

  • Blood Work (7 vials out)

  • CT Scan

  • Ultrasound

  • Pet Scan

  • Xrays on my right hip & left foot

  • 1 pint of new blood back in

Overall lots of good news to report -

I've healed really well from the hernia surgery, with no major complications, and this is an indication that my new, weak, but mighty, immune system is doing it's job! A really exciting indication of being on the right path. They did find a small bleed in my tummy that I had no idea was there - hence they gave me some extra blood today, but everything seems to be on track now!

There is absolutely no cancer ANYWHERE - like anywhere! Clean Pet Scan, Clean CT Scan, Clean Ultra-Sound - not even a mysterious nodule in sight. That's a really BIG FUCKIN' DEAL! It's World Cancer Day today. I've had cancer on and off since I was 25 years old. My brother died of it. My Dad has prostate cancer. My aunt died of Multiple Myeloma, countless people I love dearly are battling cancer as we speak...CANCER SUCKS...and that's why its a really remarkable, SCREAM FROM THE ROOFTOPS - good news day, when they don't find any in your body! I'm grateful, I'm relieved, I'm just so damn relieved. I will not take this feeling for granted.

They are temporarily diagnosing me with something new today - and I can't say I'm excited to add this one to my medical resume. As best they can tell I have adult onset Type Diabetes. There is a lot that is completely unexplainable about how or why this has happened, but as I know better than most - as long as there is a treatment, its an okay diagnosis to get. I have this feeling that this might NOT being the right diagnosis (and zero medical basis for that feeling), but for now I'll listen to the docs. My pancreas is producing little or no insulin. Insulin is a hormone needed to allow sugar (glucose) to enter cells to produce energy. So while they started me on Ozempic (which is for Type 2 Diabetes), I am going to need insulin, and I guess they may ALSO keep me on Ozempic because it lowers something else that requires lowering. A whole new world of fun ;).

After that downer piece of the health update, I return to the GOOD NEWS portion - and its pretty exciting:

  1. Barring any major listeria outbreaks (there's currently one on some DOLE produce). I can start eating well-washed raw-vegetables and fruit again! 75 days without a fresh vegetable or pieces of fruit without a thick skin - this is exciting. I have to start out simple, romaine lettuce, grapes that can be washed well, etc. However this is going to really add some much needed color to my diet.

  2. I can enter a physical establishment where real people might be, as long as I have a N95 mask on the entire time, and I am reasonably confident others will also be wearing a mask. This means no restaurants yet - but I could for instance pick something up at a store?!? (Assuming its a place where others wear masks).

  3. I can resume driving - a full 2 weeks ahead of schedule post-hernia surgery.

  4. If I continue to play by the rules, going out to dinner for my Dad's 70th birthday - in a private room, if everyone tests, is in the cards :)


What's Entertaining Us:

  • I'm back to work near full time at this point - and DRIVE AGENCY is quite entertaining - its also meant way less time on the couch watching content. This week alone I had calls with people in India, United Arab Emirates, Sweden, UK, South Africa, Colombia, Canada, & Australia - all from the comfort of Hubertus, WI. Can't wait until the travel resumes at some point to meet these amazing collaborators in person.

  • I have enjoyed "hate-watching" And just like watching the season finale last night leaves an opening for a new weekly show.

  • Guilded Age continues to capture my interest

  • Slowly but surely making our way through Station 11.

  • 25 game win streak on WORDLE (The very first thing I do everyday).

What I'm grateful for:

  • Returning to World Cancer Day, I'm grateful for the oncologists and researchers and cancer nurses that live and breathe this stuff day in and day out and are a part of historic strides towards ridding us of this horrific disease. I spent 4 hours today at the Froedtert Cancer Center - and these people are heroes - no question about it.

  • I'm grateful to be in Wisconsin and headed to hang with my parents tonight - Ben's birthday is Monday. He should be turning 39. If Ben were still here, my parents would no doubt be on a flight to DC as we speak, to spend the weekend celebrating with him - because that's how Tolkans do birthdays. We will celebrate Ben this weekend, and on Monday, and I'll have lots more to say to mark February 7th. For now, rather than thinking about being "stuck" here, I'm grateful to be with my mom and dad during this Ben Birthday time which will always be hard for the rest of our lives.

  • I'm grateful that my mind does not seem to have suffered too much damage during this transplant, hahaha! I had at the first week of work this week, where I really felt "ON!" Creative ideas were flowing, passion in the air. This is a relief. Losing one's mind isn't a named side-effect of a bone marrow transplant, but hard to not worry that could be the case during all of this medical chaos.

  • I'm grateful for all the ongoing calls and check-ins from friends. I've been terrible about returning phone calls (but that's ALWAYS been the case!). Right now there is little excuse as I hardly can say I'm too busy with social engagements, etc. The truth is I'm a little worried that I don't have much to report - its a new reality when so many of the days sound the same - but I also know that most of you aren't expecting me to be interesting :) So I commit to more returned phone calls in the days ahead!

  • Lots of great goodies from Sunita and Ravi Aggarwal that arrived this week, along with some delicious tea from my friends at Camphill Village where I serve on the board

  • RAJ RAJ RAJ RAJ RAJ - I love him, more now than when he arrived here on November 17th. I'm grateful for his patience, especially as we plan this HINJEW wedding of the century :)

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2 comentarios

Elizabeth McKeon
Elizabeth McKeon
05 feb 2022

Day 75 and cancer free. Jessy, this is the most amazing news to savour and celebrate. You've given me new reasons to love the number 75.

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Sam Dorman
Sam Dorman
05 feb 2022

Wow. Wow! This one was epic. Amazing and wonderful news about the scans. LET'S GO IMMUNE SYSTEM, LET'S DO THIS, CHEST BUMP, SPIKE THE BALL

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