Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Still doing good . . .

After a particularly messy playtime, I made the clean-up a game by letting the girls choose "jobs". "Caroline, what can be your job?" I asked. "I'll clean up the Barbie stuff," my eager daughter announced. "Great!" I then asked my second daughter, "Rachel Rose, what is your job?" Without budging from her seat on the couch she announced, "I'm the coach!"
Game over, now get your rear in gear and help clean up!!

I had my one month follow-up appointment with my oncologist on Monday. And things are still looking good. No cysts or lumps felt during the exam, my CA125 was low (but it's never been high, even when I had the cancer, so it's not a reliable test for me), and I lost SEVEN pounds! This dieting thing is actually working . . . who'da thunk!! I won't see him again for two months now - June, then I'll wait 3 months, then 4, then 5. Once I'm up to 6 months that will remain my routine forever, I assume. Once a cancer patient, always a cancer patient is the way it goes. I'm fine with that, better to be monitored than be left guessing.

Better news, though, is mom had some scans done to mark one year since her diagnosis. And even though her lesions/tumors aren't gone, they haven't grown. She can call herself 'stable' which is excellent!!! When you get news that your original cancer has come back and spread, the fear is that it wil continue spreading out of control and take over your body. The fact that her "spread" has been halted is FANTASTIC! Of course we would love to hear that the cancer spots are gone completely, but stable is a huge achievement for metastasized cancer. God is GOOD!

And she and I will be attending a conference in May for "Women Living with Advanced Cancer". It's in Philadelphia and I heard about it from a breast cancer website. Normally, it would be a very expensive trip and completely out of our budgets, but we were both granted scholarships through LLBC (Living Beyond Breast Cancer). Our airfare and hotel are covered in full - WooHoo!!!! We are very excited to meet other women in my mom's situation (and mine and Jan's as caregivers), and learn as much as we can. You can visit the website http://www.lbbc.org and see all the speakers and presentations they will be having. If Mom is feeling up to it, we might be able to do some sightseeing around Philly. Neither of us have ever been before and it would be a great chance to have a "mini-vacay"!!! We deserve it!!!

Meantime, my hair is starting to come back, thank goodness. I had my doubts for a while there! It's my regular color, dark brown, and very, very fine. Like down from a duckling. I can't tell yet if it's going to be "chemo curly" or not, it's still too short. But I'm hoping by my next dr visit in June I'll be able to go without a scarf . . . gosh, that's hard for me to imagine!