“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” ~ Ben Franklin

While still one month away, Movember, yes Movember, will be upon us before we know it. Movember, that time of year when men grow ‘staches to support research and awareness of men’s health issues.

Can he do it? Can Rich grow a Mo for this Movember? He very well might! As we passed Rich’s first milestone of one month following his rebirthday on the 27th, we found new signs of healing. His upper lip is now sprouting, puberty-like, signs of facial hair. The fuzz on his head is now thickening and starting to increase in number. The loss of hair is generally the outward identifier of a cancer patient. Whether it affects you emotionally or not, the return of hair growth is an outward signifier of the body returning to its former self and that is sure to be celebrated. And just in time… the autumn days are getting cooler.

He’s also graduated from the three porch steps to the staircase in the house. Five steps up and five steps down are the current goals each day. The full flight of stairs is yet to come. Energy and stamina are the two gifts of health that take the longest to return.

That and a fully functioning immune system. We’re still in the careful stages of this process. Infections are the bane of the immuno-deprived…. To be avoided at all costs. We’ve brought one and only one plant down into our kitchen. We could not resist the flowering orchid that began to bloom before we went into the hospital and still continues to spread its blossoms for our delight. We’ve tucked it into the far reaches of our garden window where there is little chance that Rich will come in contact with it other than to enjoy the display.

Certain food, activities and anything that has the potential to cause injury or infection are all still on the no-go list. Each visit, we ask if any restrictions can be lifted but in the grand scheme of things, it is early days yet.

The last side effect that we can’t seem to kick is the digestive/intestinal upset. We still rely on some effective drugs to keep that all at bay. Whether the culprit is the massive doses of meds that keep the germs at bay or the remnants of the process itself is unknown. We’re just thankful that there are counter measures in our arsenal to combat the discomfort. We walk a fine line between what is the “norm” in this regard and what needs a doctor’s attention. So far, we’ve been able to stay on the home side of the line.

We keep our hopes up for an uneventful recovery. With one exception…. it is not too early to begin the prep for Movember…. How far along will Rich’s ‘stache be? Only time will tell. We’ve got the upper lip comb and the wax at the ready, Mr. Franklin, we are prepared. Here come da fuzz!

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