Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Another in the bag...

So Monday was my last chemotherapy session in this second round. Met with my oncologist to discuss the next step and to get another PET scan scheduled. It appears that the next step will be... another round of chemotherapy! He already has me scheduled in on May 2 to start again. That will also be when I get the PET results. Since we are trying to keep the primary metastatic tumor under control so that it doesn't throw any additional mets anywhere, another round of chemo is our best (and safest) choice for the time being. Perhaps if there is lots of great progress/shrinkage at the end of this third round, then we may consider the radiation option to give me a bit of a break from the every other week chemo schedule. For the time being however, I am continuing to tolerate and recover well from this treatment, so we continue.

This may alter some of my summer plans, but not the big ones. They'll continue to work around my schedule as I wish. So if I choose to take an extra week between sessions to go camping or something else exciting, they are happy to work around that. My new vision of a very long road trip in my new car and a teardrop trailer will be put off until fall or so.

This Monday's chemo session went well. I did pretty well again and even had a good appetite. Continuing to control the nausea and other unpleasant issues with no problems. Slept a TON last night, and still feeling that drag from too much sleep. That, or I'm just still a little wiped. This week's chemo pump is still going, so a couple more hours before I'm actually through with this session. I'm hoping for a quick bounce back tonight. I have a date with one of my best girlfriends for the next couple of days.

Otherwise, I'm doing rather well and my attitude is firmly in the "happy as a clam" range. The true arrival of Spring and warmer weather has brightened me right up. I've been taking some time each day to sit on the deck in the sun with a cup of tea and do some mindful meditation. This was one of the best things I did for myself last spring and summer, it really helped to center me. And it is a habit I plan to keep up with. Also got my first bike ride in for the season. Getting stronger is a priority this spring and summer. The healthier I am in every way the better I'll continue to make it through the treatments.

Nothing else new to share at the moment. I am still keeping myself rather busy in general. This week's end with one of my best gals, and a wedding in St. Louis the weekend following. And lots more to come in May. I'm looking forward to another phenomenal summer. And looking forward to seeing all of you in the weeks and months to come. Sayonara for now!

Monday, April 4, 2016

I'll be a happy phantom

Howdy there folks. Per usual, it's been some busy times around here. Had another brain MRI a couple Thursdays ago. Other than it taking three people seven tries to get an IV run, it was pretty uneventful. There was the scanxiety-riddled fretting to follow. But I found distractions for the week before my results this last Friday. Turns out all three of the small brain tumors have now dissipated. The largest tumor has continued to reduce in size, currently down to 12mm from the last scan size of 17mm. This makes it about half an inch in size now, and likely continuing to respond and shrink. And the best part of this update is that there are no new tumors or activity. Woot!! I will keep getting MRIs every three months. So July for the next news on that front.

The next most exciting news is that I've just replaced the Matrix fairymobile I loved so. An experience I haven't shared with too many people is that I had an accident back in January in one of the big snowstorms. I was not hurt at all, and no other cars were involved; just me and the center divider. Being a 12 year old car though, the cost to fix was too high for my insurance company's taste and they decided to total it out. I did get quite a nice payout for the Matrix though, which allowed me to shop for a good replacement. The searching process was frustrating because I wanted another manual transmission. And let me tell you, that makes a massive change in your search response. A general search for hatchbacks and wagons would bring up (as one actual example) 154 used cars in my radius and price range. Check the manual transmission box in advanced search and that number came down to 8. That is 5% of the initial response. Two of those were larger cars than I was interested in, and one wasn't even a manual according to the pictures. I had come to a point where I was willing to acquiesce to an automatic for the right car in every other way. Luckily I had the luxury of time to continue searching and finally found what feels like the right replacement. It is a 2006 Subaru Forester in a lovely silver color. Not only does it have the magical manual transmission I wanted, but it also has a tow package. This has me very excited for some road trip possibilities. Vanity plate is on and soon there will be fairy stickers and decals galore. I've already got over 10 hours of driving in on it, and it feels great so far.

More exciting things happening lately, is that I got to spend time with this handsome fella. He is a silly one, my nephew, but quite the sweetheart when he's not otherwise being a typical three year old. He has reached the "why" phase, which has me rather excited; though his parents are waning on it already. But I am more than happy to give him long scientific answers to each question until he becomes so baffled that he changes the direction again. It's quite entertaining and already made my sister smile and shake her head a couple of times. I'd call that a win-win. And the fact that he insists I ride in the back next to him is positively endearing. Though the Jeeves comments to the front aren't always so appreciated. Sometimes it is just about amusing myself.

What more, what more?

That pesky chemo session number five was upon us today. I had to tag team my chemo buddies, but those gals are the best and took fantastic care of me. Home, in the toasty pajamas for what I can only hope is the last truly cold day/night of the season. Feeling okay. Just a bit wiped out. But very on top of the food and hydration today. I might even have something like a proper full dinner soon. More compliments from the nurses about my attitude and style. Apparently being an informed, self-advocating patient who also smiles a lot is not the majority. I was recently called an oddity by a friend, (a compliment I will receive rather heartily), and this continues to bear out as some kind of truth.

I know there is more on my mind, but the edges are all a bit fuzzy right now and anything resembling intelligent and thoughtful thought might be off the menu for the rest of the night. Rest assured I am still doing well. I can only hope the same for all of you out there. *mwah*