Monday, April 4, 2016

I am going to continue to journal

You know in my heart of hearts I truly thought this journey was in remission and I was clear. From the way that I felt and the completion of my treatment it felt like the end. Truth is folks it is never the end when you are diagnosed with cancer. Not anymore. And that is frustrating. I sometimes feel like I have done something to deserve this long-ass journey. (Excuse my language) Every morning a person wakes up in the morning and thanks God that they have today. I feel good but that could change in a second and I have to be grateful for today. I have started a journal for my kids.  This blog is for them later on but, if they need me earlier they are able to be a part of me, through their journal.  My mom said everyone should do it. Facing their mortality or not. I really have begun to understand the value in little traditions, it just sucks that it's because I have cancer that I have to fast forward it all.


Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Light again

So, today was another light day. You know those days. Those days that are fully productive and you are truly happy and feeling blessed. The days when the nausea is finally gone. Those days when the fight seems so much easier then..well..then it is...
 I finally have my oophorectomy (removal of the ovaries-p.s. love to say that word) scheduled, January 22. My oncologist kinda thought that it should be a little earlier (like this week) but the hospitals were full. What can you do? Well let me tell you what you do. In the meantime you get a shot, that suppresses your ovaries and force you into early menopause. It's less abrupt  than the actual surgery. You know the menopause thing. I know you want to ask me? What is it like? Well, I'm cool with it actually. I would trade my period for hot flashes any day. (Oh, by the way they are not flashes they are waves they last a lot longer then a flash, I think I have said that before) Now being dry down there.... well there are creams to aid in that. I just can't use any that are estrogen based....Awe-some!!!

Anyway, I will also be having another injection to help with the strength of my bones. My bone strengthening shot. Today I am good. Today I feel good!!!Yippee!!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

THE CYBERKNIFE

So with the lesions we made the decision to go ahead and treat them, aka fry them out, in my back. I had to do 5 days. Approximately 40-45 minutes per vertibrae. They were only treating two so the sessions should have been an hour and a half to two hours. Day 1 took 3 hours laying on my belly, but the days to follow seemed much quicker. I am still pretty nauseous, but the pain is subsiding. Which was the plan to begin with. Honestly, achey, nauseous, and tired,  makes a mama kinda grumpy. But on the up side...Only 1 more to go and I am done. AMEN to that! Then It is Christmas!!!

Monday, December 21, 2015

First session of the Cyberknife

So yesterday was my first Cyberknife session. It took FOREVER!! I was laying on my belly (which by the way I dislike immensely) for 3 HOURS!! My face through a hole in a plastic head thingy. Similar to a massage table but everything was hard!! The table the thing I put my head in.. Kinda ridiculous. And yes the nausea is an added bonus to the procedure for me. So LUCKY! I am back on pain meds for the soreness, anti nausea meds, and I am needing a muscle relaxer for laying on my poor new boobs.  Ugh! Kinda feeling a bit grumpy because I don't feel great. And I'm exhausted. It was nice that the whole family was home when I was finished though. We celebrated Lennox's birthday and my birthday, and it was nice to have a distraction.

Today I have a second opinion, just to see what they will say, and another Cyberknife session. They claim that it won't take as long as it did the first time, but I am not banking on it, cuz then I may be happily surprised!! I will post again later.

Opportunity

Although the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it." -Isaiah 30:20-21


This morning I awoke to peace in my heart and the Lord on my mind.  I had an appointment with the radiologist today and my nerves were at peace. I decided to take a few moments before the chaos of the day woke up, to read my Jesus Calling book and todays scripture.
This is what it said:
December 18-
When you are plagued by a persistent problem- one that goes on and on- view it as a rich opportunity. An ongoing problem is like a tutor who is always by your side. The learning possibilities are limited only by your willingness to be teachable. In faith, thank Me for your problem. Ask Me to open your eyes and your heart to all that I am accomplishing through this difficulty. Once you have become grateful for a problem, it loses its power to drag you down. On the contrary, your thankful attitude will lift you up into heavenly places with Me. From this perspective, your difficulty can be seen as a slight, temporary distress that is producing for you a transcendent Glory never to cease!!!

Ironic. I dropped to my knees to pray. I am so grateful for that first journey. Not only did I grow in my faith and my relationship with God, my relationships here were strengthened beyond what I ever thought could be possible. I met new friends that I consider some of my best friends. As my old friends remain people I will never let go of. Then the day played out to be an amazingly incredible day. I saw Gods plans that day and how he works.

Stopped at Target on the way home, and while shopping the nurse from my oncologist called me back. I left my number but forgot to leave my name. I had gotten clearance from my handsome dentist, that I absolutely adore, to start the bone strengthening infusions. I told her that I was waiting on the test results about me being either HER2 + or -.
She said, "here in your files it says you are negative". I think I must have asked her a billion times if she was sure. (I even called back to have her read it to me again)
Well that was a blessing!!! No Chemo! Praise Jesus!
Next on to the radiologist appt.
It was amazing. He was very confident and I felt good about what the results would be. He wanted to start on Sunday. My birthday. He said lets get you in before Christmas so that you will start healing and feeling better.
O.K. on to the first of the treatments.
All in all, the day was pretty incredible. Positive testing results, getting started right away on treatment, Today I felt blessed with an opportunity to fight this again, and I actually believe there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

THE TWO PLANS

Both plans include:
-Hysterectomy
-Weekly Bone Strengthening Infusions
-Radiation vs Cyberknife vs Cryoablation

We know that the lesions are Estrogen receptor + so both plans will include hormonal therapy.
Plan #1
ER(estrogen) + / HER2 -
(this plan is for the rest of my life)
-Change my hormonal pills
(I will take 2 for the rest of my life)
-PET scans every 3-4 mos.
-monthly blood work
-and monthly office visits

Plan #2
ER+ / HER2 +
(because the HER 2 is a different kind of cancer, I would have to start all over with a different type of treatment.)
(Need another Port for infusions)
-Intravenous Chemo
 every 3 weeks, x6 treatments
-Targeted therapy-chemo, but a different drug
 every 3 weeks for about a year.
-Start hormonal therapy- this would be one of the pills from above indefinitely.
-PET scans every 3-4 mos.
-monthly blood work
-and monthly office visits




THE LONGEST 2 WEEKS OF OUR LIVES!!

The next week consisted of scans up the wazoo!! First I had a PET scan, they identified two spots in my spine with significant lesions, and two smaller spots in my pelvis. There were some spots on the CT scan from the ER, on my liver, but the PET scan found this to be a cyst. Sometimes after surgeries these will form on organs...
Next step would be to biopsy the lesions. Yes, that means taking a sample from my spine. DISGUSTING! Yes they hammer a biopsy tool into your spine and pull out a sample. Again, DISGUSTING!! The sound and the pressure, just grosses me out. Thank God that it wasn't painful, and after the procedure, the pressure was released in my back and I actually felt better. Still anxiety and my nerves were shot. Fear of the unknown.
I had to wait a WEEK to get the results back. They test the sample to determine what, I like to say, the tumor likes to eat. That week was the longest week of my life. I was so worried this was going to determine my life expectancy. I have a 3 year old. My 7 year old needs his snugly mommy and my oldest and I are connecting on a different and wonderful level!! They are the coolest kids and I was not ready to let them go. My husband. One of the most amazing men I know. (Not to mention sooo HOT) I can't leave him. All of these thoughts running through my head. Wednesdays appointment couldn't come soon enough.
Wednesday Appt.
FREAKING OUT!!! Expecting to hear the worst news, praying for the best.
Weight-check.
Temperature-check.
Blood Pressure-THROUGH THE ROOF!!. Nurse: "Ok. Lets breathe for a bit then I will take your blood pressure again. I am not gonna write that one down."( I even took my Valium) Sat quietly taking deep breaths and thinking positive thoughts. Took my blood pressure again, it came down. Thank you Lord.
Here are the results of the biopsy:
The tumor is still driven by hormones. Praise God. This means that Tamoxifen, the pill I have been taking, didn't block the Estrogen.(Yes I am highly estronagen-ated for some crazy reason. The pill is supposed to put you into menopause. Me not so much, my period loves me.) The sample was  97% Estrogen, 7% progesterone, we had to send the sample to a specialized HER2 test to see if it had changed. This left us with 2 plans to go with as we waited for the final test results.