Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Mostly Good News

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 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.


  1. This is good news friend and I am happy to hear it! I celebrate these victories with you (even if I celebrate more than you do, since you are so realistic ;) And I hope and pray for more of these in the future. Love you!!!

    PS: This will say I am taylor...but I am really Dione. :)

  2. Yay! We have more reasons to celebrate! Love to you!

  3. Love the good news and the positive outlook. Even though you will get slammed when the cycle starts again, ENJOY this next week and a half! Lots of love. XO

  4. Love you and praying....I understand the cautiously optimistic, but I'm going to jump and down and shout with joy and sing some big praises, because a clear brain is REALLY GREAT news! But also praying you FEEL better! Love you! Happy Birthday!! Becky

  5. Great news Angela on your brain scan!! I can relate to the ringing in the ears because I got it too post radiation - isn't it so annoying? Egads! Anyway, I have my 9 month MRI Monday - which will tell me if Cyberknife killed the darn thing. Only good thoughts - right? :) You inspire me and are an amazing spirit. I didn't lose any hair during radiation and because I didn't, I am chopping it off tomorrow to donate it to "Pantene" hair (they collect hair to make wigs for those who have lost theirs from cancer). I can't wait!! :) Hang in there and stay strong. God is good!!!

  6. Happy "Belated" b-day Angela! Hope you had a great one w/your amazing hubby and beautiful boys!! :)