Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Scan results

I did get my PET/CT scan results back. It's taken me a while to decipher them, but I think I got it straight now. Overall, there is improvement. The previous areas are smaller or stable. But there are 3 new areas causing concern. Two are lymph nodes - one in my lower left lung and another near my liver. The third is in my pelvic bone on the left side. Dr. S wants me to go back to the radiation dr for possible treatment of the pelvic bone. And he wants me to go on Doxil, a new chemo, for the two new lymph nodes.
What's weird is this huge lump in my abdomen didn't show up at all! So apparently, it's not cancer. It still hurts like crazy, so I made an appointment with a gastroenterologist for Friday to get it figured out.
So, I feel like, it's not as bad as I was thinking. Nothing massive and overwhelming, just lingering and pesky!
Hopefully, the radiation and Doxil will knock it all out for good! I get the next few weeks off, then I go back on Sept. 14 to get started on the next regimen. Will post again when I know more!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Like the new layout?

I decided a needed a fresh new look!

I had my Day 2 treatment yesterday and I asked the nurses there to check my abdomen. They were able to feel the lump, too. So I decided it was time to go ahead with the scans. I called Dr. S and we got a full body PET scan scheduled for this Friday morning. Not sure when I'll get the results, but I plan to make an appointment with Dr. S next week to go over them. I already have an appt tomorrow morning. It's at questionable times like this that I prefer to see him directly rather than communicate through voicemail messages. That's just frustrating.

Right now my main symptoms are the upper abdominal pain, that feels like heartburn, a lump in my abdomen, and an ache in my left hip. The right hip had the spot of cancer in it, but now it's my left hip hurting. My nose is still having its same issues that its had all this time from the Avastin drug, burning and bleeding (nice, huh!). And my chest still aches. It's better if I don't have any constriction across my chest and upper tummy, so I wear loose clothes and no bra most of the time. I know, women's lib would be so proud of me!! Oh, and I have an appointment tomorrow afternoon (after my Dr. S appt) with an endocrinologist about my osteopenia.

Good news, my jaw is all healed and giving me no problems, thank you, Jesus! And my hair seems to have stopped falling out, thank you again, Jesus! Of course I did forget to wear my cold cap yesterday. John and I got caught up watching Don't Forget the Lyrics on the TV and we missed the time frame. Let me ask you what comes next in this song, "Wake me up before you go-go 'Cause I'm not plannin' on going solo. Wake me up before you go-go ___ ___ ___ ___" No googling allowed! Hint: it's the second verse of the chorus.

Girls are good. RR has begun taking martial arts this year and SHE LOVES IT! It is so her thing - action, drama, excitement - I see her as the next action movie star! Caroline will be taking jazz beginning in September, and it is SO her thing. She's always dancing around the house and this summer, she and I both were hooked on "So You Think You Can Dance." It's going to be amazing watching her develop as a dancer!

John is good, mom is good, Jan and her kids, all good. We're all just hanging in there, taking everything that's handed to us in stride and doing the best we can. Being grateful for our blessings when they happen, and taking on the challenges with God's hand to hold. Isn't that what we all do every day!

I appreciate all the quotes and inspirational messages I have received, the emails and the snail-mail. It means so much to me that so many people are sending positive thoughts my way and prayers up to heaven. Just the encouragement fills me with good energy to keep on going, enjoying my life and all its blessings.

It's a struggle sometimes not to think the worst and wonder what my outcome is going to be. But one night as I was talking with God if I should be preparing myself and my family for the worst, he spoke to me in a loud and clear voice, "Stop it! Don't entertain any negative thoughts, don't even put them out there. I will take care of you! You just have to have faith." Okay, then! It was humbling to realize that I was trying to do His job, predict the future. I need to stick with my own jobs - praying, believing, and taking care of myself! "Message received, Sir, loud and clear!"

Monday, August 15, 2011

The rollercoaster rolls on . . .

So my CA125 is going back up. From 50 at last check to 56 today. And I'm having horrible pain in my upper abdomen. Thought it was heartburn/indigestion, but OTC meds don't really help much. And I feel a lump/mass in the side of my abdomen, could be inflamed muscle, don't know. I called the dr office with this latest news and Beth advised me that Dr. S would probably want me to finish this last round of chemo, do some scans, and see where I stand. I only have 2 more infusions after today. Part of me wants to stop them now. It's likely that these drugs have stopped working, hence the rise in CA125. If that's the case, what's the point in continuing with them. I'm debating about not taking the last two and going ahead with the scans. But in reality, we're only talking 2 weeks difference. And as John said, the drugs are working some. My levels haven't skyrocketed, just bumped up a little. I suppose he's right.

The good news is my jaw issue has resolved itself. I went to see the oral surgeon and he removed the loose bone piece. Afterward, all better! He said he has seen this occurrence with normal people, maybe injuring the gum and bone with a tortilla chip or something hard and sharp. A portion of the bone dies and works its way out like a splinter. Once it's out, it's over. And that has been the case for me. Thank you, Lord, for the easy fix to this one!

The oral surgeon did mention that osteoporosis meds can cause this problem, jaw necrosis. He kept asking if I was on any of them, Fossamax, Zometa, etc. I told him no, just the chemo drugs. He couldn't find any correlation between the Avastin and jaw necrosis. I must've been mistaken in assuming Avastin was the culprit.

But the irony is this . . . Dr. S ordered a bone density scan just to see if my bones were having problems and we found that yes, I do have osteopenia, the stage just before osteoporosis. He and Beth discussed putting me on osteoporosis meds now, but with the jaw necrosis already having been an issue, the meds are out. So for now, I will go see an endocrinologist and start taking calcium and vit D.

So it sounds like I'm a train wreck! But I know it could be worse, and that's what I worry about. I'm like the train heading toward the wreck! Let's just hope I make it out alive!

In the meantime, my sister is going through a nasty divorce that came at her out of the blue. It's amazing to me how people can change so drastically, scary actually. I worry about her and she worries about me and neither one of us needs the stress of the other! And my poor mother . . . well, you can imagine! Her doctor took her off her maintenance drug to give her a break. Let's hope her cancer continues to remain stable.

I know life is a journey and that God has a plan to give us hope and a future. I'm putting my faith in Him and holding on through the bumps and turns. Every day holds a new turn and a new possibility. I'm just taking it one day at a time.