I so seldom receive good news in regards to my health, that when I do, it’s such a pleasant surprise that I feel like telling the world. But since I can’t do that, I do the next best thing...I blog. Unfortunately, I started this blog right after I heard the news but "things" happened and I'm just now getting it out.
On Monday, October 4th, I went in to Dr. Link’s office to donate blood - i.e. a follow up visit to make sure I was handling the “new” chemo pills ok. On Tuesday, October 5th I learned some surprising things. I learned that the tumor marker blood tests used on virtually every cancer patient on the planet do not work for me. Apparently, there are a “few” people who, because they are so special, have blood that doesn’t respond to the typical tumor marker blood draw. High fives all around for people like me! I don't know why I'm just now finding this out but probably because it doesn't really matter. During this entire journey, I’ve not responded to many things “normally”. I’m fearfully and wonderfully made, right? I also learned that even though my liver is a little bigger than it should be, my lungs sound VERY clear and the progression in my bones is minimal. I do have new lymph node issues but the breast area is significantly better.
I was thrilled with the “clear lungs” news, thought the “tumor marker” news was hilarious, not shocked but pleased by the “breast area” news, a wee bit bothered by the “liver” and "lymph node" news, and not at all surprised by the "bone" news.
What made all the ups and downs worth it though was that my nurse Donna (whom I absolutely adore) made the comment that, “yes, the chemos were working but mostly it was all the praying.” She cannot make human sense of why my lungs sound clear or how it is that I’m still walking (literally) around fighting this disease. She mentioned that it must be all the praying and the way I take care of myself by surrounding myself with good things...i.e. friends, church, diet etc.
She’s getting it!!
On Wednesday, October 6th, I went in for a brain MRI to see if all that hellish radiation did anything other than make me nauseous, give me ringing ears, weeks of being unable to think clearly, and a bald head. It did. I officially have a clean brain...clean from cancer.
Now, while I understand that this is exceptionally fantastic news, I find that I can’t do any better than cautiously optimistic. I am relieved, encouraged, happy but I’m pretty sure being elated isn’t going to happen. In the back of my clean mind I can’t help but think this could be temporary. I will choose to be cautiously optimistic and hope that my next MRI will be clean too.
On another note, I am constantly hungry. This is a real pain for me because I’m not a big fan of eating. As much as this annoys me, I KNOW that it’s a really good thing. My body is using so much energy in the healing process that I’m burning off all that I’m eating. It literally feels like my body is rebuilding itself. If I keep food in my system, my energy level stays up. If I don’t, I crash and burn. Since I don't like to crash and burn, I've decided to keep "easy-to-eat" food around.
So, that’s the latest in my life. That and my birthday is in a few days! The 17th in case you’re wondering. Oh yeah...one more thing. Currently I am on a break from a chemo pill. On October 22nd I will begin the pill again and take it for 5 days. I will then have another 28 day break and then start over again.
That's it for now...I think.