Tuesday, May 22, 2018

When good news turns to bad and then good again....

So I met with the Doctor today and I was yet in ANOTHER new rental car.  On Friday, a car filled with very tired graveyard shift drivers decided to turn left into my Expedition.  Good news...no injuries.  Bad news, a lot of extra work and another car in the shop.

ANYWAY, I sit down with the same Doc that I had a couple years ago.  The nurses all said hi and asked about the boys....it is like that now, everywhere I go.  "Teenagers?!?!?  How is that?!?!?!"  Anyway, I digress.  The doctor comes in and gets straight down to business...."Well, I had to call Hank because his notes are awful and as we were talking, you know he has a brilliant mind, anyway, as we were talking, your six spots are at three very different stages of development.  Two are new and have never been treated, two are old from when you first came and were treated by cyberknife with the markers still in tact, and two are two small to treat.  We will just watch those.  So, I told him that I can do all of these and systemic is not necessary at this time. So, let's take a look...."  Okay pause.  While, he is looking at the pictures which I now know all too well....I feel like falling off my seat.....no one has ever said, "You get to do less."  They have said things like, "You have no cancer in your pelvis."  "So, I am out of here doc?"  "Oh no, you are riddled with it in your lungs." or
"You have no signs of live cancer in your body."  "So, am I out of here Doc?"  "No, we have to do six more treatments just to be sure."  There was the one time they said, "We saved your lower right lobe."  "Y-e-a-h....." between opiate pills - pass me a pill.  Okay, now we are back in the office, I had to have him repeat everything and he decided to treat the two new untreated spots first AND I don't need markers because they are close to my spine (which is sometimes the hardest part of the process), BUT (here is the but), he will have to treat them one at a time.  O-K-A-Y, that is it?  "What about the old ones that were treated?"  "I suspect we will just zap/hit/treat (can't remember) those in six months to a year."  We can keep doing this until someday your lungs can't take anymore or you can't handle the treatment anymore (which involves four pre appointment, five treatments and laying on a table very still for a hour - I can do that.)  But hopefully, we just keep going and someday we beat it before it beats us.  "OKAY!  When do we start I am going away at the end of June."  He asked if I wanted to wait until after, "NOPE.  NOW."  So I will have approximately 18 doctors visits before I leave.  THAT IS A LOT.  The slowest part is insurance.

On the way home, I confirmed with Hank that there was no systemic.  He said, "Sorry to disappoint..."  Funny, funny man.

I got home to my very clean yet not organized house that I have four meals being prepped for the freezer for chemo......I gleefully make lunch, send some emails, do some work and then I sit down for just a moment before I have to get Nolan.  I close my eye and take a quick nap.  I get up, hit the restroom and POW....the room starts to spin, I get really hot, I vomit, and I am exhausted.  Room still spinning.  I have somehow taken off my shirt and necklace and I am taking off my pants and sweating like crazy.......the room slows down a bit and I click in, "I can't drive.  Especially a rental car, after to two accidents and half naked.....what do I do?!?!?!"  Mom can't make it there in time, so I text a couple mom's and Cheryl's text comes back and says she can do it.  THANK GOD.  Get in bed, a try breathing exercises.  My in-laws were blowing back through town and I texted them to see if they could get Mason.  Yes.  Saved.  Now, just my meeting tonight.  I started slowly feeling better, but I was exhausted and when I asked my President what I should do, she was like, "DON'T COME IF YOU CAN'T."  I think there was probably a "you dork" in there somewhere.  I got stuff together for Grant to take up to the meeting.  Visited the in laws for a while and ate dinner and was in bed by 7:45.  Now, of course I am up and feel fine.  Probably just the stress and then relaxation from it all.

So, there is it.  Just Cyberknife.  I can do that.

Oh and wave at the Black Fusion - it is the car of the moment!!!!! And by the way, this car situation is also exactly like in 2000 when Grant hit two deer five weeks apart in each car - totaled one (not hard it was a Fiesta and we got $300 for it) and $5000 dollars on the Subaru.  This time it is me getting hit four weeks apart in each car.  It is all very confusing....so I thought I would clarify!

Happy Tuesday,


Saturday, May 5, 2018

Results of the PET scan

So, it is good that I got a PET scan because instead of three spots there are six.  Them call them "PET HOT".  I will be meeting with the docs at Cyberknife to see what they can do, but Hank said that we should also look at a "systemic treatment".  Systemic treatment in my era of cancer equaled chemo.  My greatest fear is to back into chemo with all the havoc on the body, "But wait...." Hank says.  There is a new therapy since you were diagnosed.  It works with your genes and is much easier on your system.  I have the words written downstairs and I should get the for you, but forgive me, I just don't want to.  I think I remember this therapy when they were talking to my Dad.  Hank said that we have all these tumor slides on file and that we should use some of those to see if this new therapy will work.  The plan:  Next week, talk to Cyberknife and then the lab will pull out old tumor slides and see if I have lived long enough to do the ONLY other therapy that I have not done in the great world of cancer.  My goal was to do them all and yet again it looks like I will.....(note the sarcasm).

I was really hoping for not this news....I told people, "I got this....I am fine....this is just a tune up." And for how hard it is for you to read....I truly sucks writing it.  Especially this week.

 And then, as always, I will be okay.  Welcome to my 24 hour pity party.


Tuesday, May 1, 2018

The aftermath of My Dad's Service, being hit by a semi, our trip to Washington DC, and Life.....

When I left you, I had three spots growing in my lungs.  It required a PET, but remember you only get 3 in your lifetime and I have had 28.  Hank was fine with it.  "We need it to see if that is active cancer.  They will allow it."  I was skeptical as I have seen no many denial notices come through my mail, but they have improved the process because it was scheduled AND APPROVED.  SHOCKING.  That is Friday.  Mom is taking the boys to and from school which I am so grateful.

My Dad's service was on the 26th of April.  It was a beautiful day and a beautiful service.  People came that I only knew by name, but stopped me and told me how they loved my Dad.  No surprise to me.  I loved my Dad too, but I did learn certain things......but I got to have him as my Dad.  Stories I did not tell at the funeral that some of you know are:

#1  I was YOUNG and I woke up from a bad dream.  I went to my parents bedroom and they were not there.  I went to the window in the living room and the GTO was gone.  I knew my parents were gone - the GTO was the dependable car.  I remember holding my teddy bear, turning around, sliding down the green and gold embossed couch and saying to myself, "Do I cry?  Do I lose my mind?"  I answered, "No, my parents love me WAY to much to leave me.  I should just go back to bed."  (And you wonder where my inflated sense of self came from....)  So, I did.  In the morning, I went into my parent's bedroom and asked where they went last night.  To my confusion, my Dad collapsed, like in a weird way for me.  My Mom called me over and told me that friends of ours were in a bad car accident and they did not know what to expect, but that they had to go get the kids and get them in bed.  My parents were afraid of what I might see and decided that they should leave me at home.  I asked how they were, and everyone was going to pull through.  I was okay, like that sounded TOTALLY reasonable and I was good.  My Dad was still pretty sad.  He said to me, "You know I will never leave you."  I responded with, "Yes, are you okay?"  And he with, "Promise me you know I will never leave you."  "I promise."  This was one of five promises my Dad made me make to him.  There were only five....but then six in the end.

#2  My Dad was loved by every kid every neighborhood we lived in.  When I was little, we had sleds, like with the steel runners.  If there was enough snow, my Dad would pull ALL THE NEIGHBORHOOD KIDS behind his Trail 90 which was the first "Trail Bike" he ever owned.  He always started out with me on the right.  "Varmint, remember, don't let the muffler scrap your face - IT WILL BURN IT RIGHT OFF!"  I got to tell the next people that.  Many declined.  WHATEVER!

There are more, but I need to save them for me and my boys......my Dad was a big man and a bigger father.

So, for Spring Break, we visited our friends that we made from the KOA last year.  They are "Coasties" or Coast Guard.  There were here for a year, but we had tons of fun with them, vacationed, with them, learned that eating off of paper plates ALL the time was okay (because you could compost them - we figured that out), and played with them.  They attended Mason's birthday where we made someone puke (and the still liked us), and we invited them to the Kent Christmas Tree lighting which we missed by 2 mins (and the still liked us), etc etc.  I think they need a higher bar, but WHATEVER!  Anyhoo, we got to stay on base, they were WONDERFUL TOUR GUIDES, and we have a great time playing kick ball (wow that was sad for me - my head travels faster than my feet), hanging out, side trips to Williamsburg and Jamestown, smoking meat, watching  Lacrosse, etc.  So, we get home. The plane is late, my Mom picked up pizza for us, we go to bed, I drop the kids the next day at school while Grant takes my truck in to be serviced and I am, NO LIE, rear ended by a semi.  ALL I WANTED TO DO IS GO HOME, DO LAUNDRY, AND LISTEN TO THE SILENCE OF MY HOUSE.  Two cars in front of me, semi behind.  Light turns green.  No where to go because everything is backed up, EXCEPT THE SEMI DECIDES TO GO.  HITTING THE GAS AND RAMMING ME IN THE BACK.  I hit the woman ahead of me, who hits the woman ahead of her.  Anyway, details aside, no one was injured, it could have been SO much worse and the CMax is a little tank.  I drove away, picked up my kids, and drove it to service the next day.  The cops were amazed at how well my car did. n $8000 later I got it back.

Today, I got to have lunch with an old friend and coffee with a not so old friend.  I love laughing with both of them.  Belly laughing which is the BEST!  They are SUCH a part of my history.  One I watched go through the worst part of her life (and then she watched me) and the other told me to get on board (in a VERY nice way) and help shape a part of the future (which, as a cancer patient, gave me purpose that I can never repay.) THERE KNOW WHO THEY ARE.

So, that is the update.  PET on Friday.  Scared, but pretty sure we will have to do Cyber or Ablation. Kinda hopping it is Ablation.  Have not had time to catch up with Dr. Osnis in a while.  Miss him. Just saw the Cyber folks.  Time will tell.  Only the scan knows......

Happy Wednesday,