Turbulence: I went through most of the past week with friends in turmoil, whether that be with me, with each other, or within their own lives separate from me. So, as is my nature, I spent a lot of time worrying about them and why everyone can't just get along (...and if ya need a little prozac to do that, well by all means let me refer you!) I am so thankful for the relationships that I have with my friends and family and I love them all, in all their grandeur.
Fabulous: I was able to spend a lot of time with my old neighbors and their families, as well as my brother-and sister-in-law, and some old friends from high school, as we made our tour of costume parties on Saturday. While I looked quite ridiculous in my costume, it was kind of fun to dress up and pretend to be someone else for awhile.
Touching: Sunday was our Making Strides walk. We had about 48 people on our team, if you count everyone who purchased t-shirts for the event. Unfortunately, we had a few that were unable to make it for one reason or another, but were definitely there in spirit! We had 9 of us that wore pink wigs, a couple with pink boas, and lots of other assorted pink wear. We caused quite a scene and apparently a few of us made it on to a 3 sec. blip on the news, but I have yet to see that. Most of all, we raised money and awareness for breast cancer research and treatment, and gave HOPE to those of us who are still in the thick of "surviving". I can't even begin to explain how touching it is to know that I have friends, and lots of them, that are willing to go walk 5 miles for me...and a supervisor/friend so FABULOUS that he provided "tailgate refreshments" at the end of the walk for the team!! Go TMARYMOONERS!!!!
Frightening: Apart from it being Halloween on Monday and chasing two little Ghouls around the neighborhood, I started to get nervous about the scans that I was having today. I know that their is no sense in fretting and that a positive attitude can take you a long way, but it is hard to get rid of that little nagging "what if" in the back of ones mind. Especially when it is in your nature to be prepared for whatever is to come, be it good, bad, or indifferent.
Stunning: Today was just that. I went in for my 3 months post treatment scans. And after drinking 3 glasses of CT contrast, having blood drawn, an IV threaded, beams of radiation shown through me, and radioactive material injected into my veins and pumped through my blood stream, I saw my doctor. And what did he say??? (Really, is that what you have read through this whole blog to find out?!?!) He said... that I do not have any new areas of concern and that my cancer is stable. Stable in that the liver looks unchanged, with one tiny "spot" that may or may not be malignant that is unchanged from the previous CT scan. It is so small that a needle biopsy would not even be possible, and if it did prove to be malignant would not change my course of treatment. As for my breast, they did not see any tumors on my chest CT. All of that... that was good news! It means that what I thought I had is still gone, at least as gone as it has ever been. That means that even without the chemo, and with just Herceptin, I am kicking some cancer @ss! Now, here comes the interesting part. Remember back in the beginning, when they thought that I had cancer in my bones? Well, they did follow up x-rays and determined that is was probably not cancer and if it was cancer, it was very minuet and was not creating damage to my bones. Well, it has now been established that the bone cancer, no not bone cancer, was actually.... bone cancer. HOWEVER, what I thought I had and then thought I didn't have, and now know I did have, is now GONE!!! You just don't know what you got until it's gone, do you?! Sometimes, I think that might be a good thing. It turns out that on my latest scans, they can see that the changes noted in my bone on previous scans are now healing in with new bone material. Since degenerative changes do not do that, they know that the treatment has "improved" my condition (for lack of a better way of explaining it) and therefore, the spots were cancerous. I guess maybe a higher power was noticing the the breast cancer with liver AND bone mets was a little too much for me to handle in one sitting, so he took the information back, and gave it to me now, after the treatment had it under control, to kind of "soften" the blow. I do appreciate that! And, I do feel better equipped to handle it now.
So, what does this mean for the future? It means that I will be having a bone density test tomorrow, and if all goes well and the results show that I can handle the treatment that I will need to protect my bones, I will be started on another IV drug called Zometa. I will take this every 3 weeks as I have been taking the Herceptin. There do not appear to be any significant side effects, and it will only change life as I know it by adding 15-30 minutes to my IV drip every three weeks. A small price to pay for LIFE!
What am I thankful for?! Hugs(as always), smiles on children's faces, trick-or-treating, and the feel of the fresh autumn air!