Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Truck that is Radiaton

Ok, I've only got 2 radiation treatments left:) Which is good, because I generally feel like I've been hit, repeatedly, by an enormous truck that has driven over me over and over again and then left me in the road only to be hit by a steamroller. AGGHHH!!!!!! I should bounce back within the next few weeks though. I go back to Boston on October 14 and see the doc on the 15th. Hopefully I won't cry in his office this time. This time, I'm bringing reinforcements. (thanks, Juhu!) I will not see the doc alone again, especially when I'm going to probably get scans again and those are always interesting, to say the least.

I guess I'm looking at chemo as the next fun treatment regimen. Hmmm. Can't wait for that. I'm not going to let that interfere with my planned trip to the wine country in December. I've not even had the energy to drink wine lately, which on my "sick o'meter" means I'm feeling pretty bad! I'll have to get over that in time to drink some stellar cabernet. Life's too short to miss out on the good wines at Joseph Phelps, etc. Maybe I get to keep my hair this time. That would be nice.

So I don't really have any wise words for everybody right now. I'll post again when I get back from Boston and recover from the Zometa and whatever else they throw at me. Halloween's just around the corner and it's almost time to decorate. It's still my favorite holiday! Makes me think of those years in San Fran when we used to go see all the thousands of people dressed up in the Castro district. Good times!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

My Thoughts on Radiation

Radiation sucks. That's the best way to describe it. No offense to Dr. Maguire for the way they've lined up these toxic beams to hit my body but it still sucks. Apparently there's no way to radiate my lower back without hitting part of my bowels which causes nausea and stomach pain. So, I can add Zofran to my repertoire of pills which are so numerous I need an old lady's pill box with am/pm dividers to keep track of it all. Who'd have thought! Anyway, it's supposed to help. Considering that I woke up with stabbing pains on my right shoulder blade yesterday which is an area they can't radiate, incidentally, because it's in the field that was already radiated last year, I'm not all that optimistic that the radiation treatment is doing anything except keeping my L3 vertebrae from fracturing, which, admittedly, is a biggie. I can hardly wait to experience the fatigue that is already bad but will worsen with more treatments. Yippee!

So, the folks up in Boston are once again concerned that the pain has increased and spread. Means that the hormonal treatments are likely not working. Probably also means chemo is on the horizon when I meet with them in October. Maybe I can keep my hair this time. Woo hoo! On a more positive note....

Last night our small church group talked about the meaning of love and how we should put the needs of others, everyone, before our own. Wow, that's hard. I've always thought I got the pass on that one since it takes every ounce of energy I have to take care of myself and my children right now. But I don't think so anymore. I've found when I actually step outside my little world with its accompanying health problems and fears that even I can help other people. Maybe it's just calling to check up on a friend who's having a difficult time. Perhaps I need to let some other driver merge while I'm sitting in a traffic jam. Maybe I just need to let my overworked, stressed out husband know that I appreciate how hard he works to make a living for all of us. I don't know. We can all do something for another person. Give it a try. You might find that your expressed concern and time makes YOU feel better as well as that other person.

Have a great day one and all!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

I think to myself.... what a wonderful world

So yesterday I got to look at the actual report of my scans from last week. The bone scan showed metastases all over my spine from areas in the cervical and thoracic spine and throughout the lumbar spine. The report says the L3 vertebrae is at risk for "pathological compression fracture." Hmmm. I'm guessing that, if it fractured, I'd be looking at not being able to walk or something. Not a good option. Anyway, I had a radiation planning session yesterday, a simulation tomorrow, and should start treatment on the lumbo-sacral region this week. They're not going to radiate all the areas where there's cancer because they can't. That means the cancer will remain in other problem areas, particularly the thoracic spine. But I can do that later. The main thing is preventing the scary possibility of fracture of the L3 and compression on the spinal fluid with all the other problems that could bring. My imagination does not even want to consider that too much....

Geoff is nervous, my friends are nervous about this latest turn of events. I was alarmed by reading the report simply because my last scan in may only named a few possible places of bone mets. This report named so many in my spine, ribs, hips and pelvis areas that I can't even remember them. Strangely, however, I've got such a sense of peace about all of this. I want healing and pray for it every day. I believe, however, that ultimately this is all in God's hands. And I've received a chance in my current (admittedly doped up on painkillers) state to REALLY look around at what is so precious in my life. I've got a fantastic group of friends that are always there for me and who truly round out my life in a way I did not have before all this crap started 2 years ago. I've been able to see who is really important to me. And my kids are incredible. I cuddled with them last night and, instead of thinking about all the things I needed to be doing at that moment, I could actually appreciate the depth of my love for them and their love for me. And of course, my husband and soul mate. We've always been able to communicate well, enjoy each others company, and to live together peacefully. But now, the rest of the riff/raff of life can be shaken away and we understand how important it is just to be together. Even on a normal Tuesday evening. THIS is what really matters. Not my health and not cancer; not money and big houses; not travel and fine dining; not even work.

I'm not hormonal now (I don't think I can be). But I think to myself.... what a wonderful world. Go look at the flowers today. Notice the stars in the sky tonight. Kiss your loved ones. Things can change in an instant. Carpe diem.