Tuesday, March 18, 2014

thanks for asking

I am doing well.  People keep asking how I'm doing, and I forget that I kind of leave things hanging on the blog.

My left arm with the blood clot is much improved.  It's not exactly back to normal, but I'm pleased.

The surgeons in the tumor board meeting unanimously said to leave the remaining tumors alone if they aren't growing, as the surgery would most likely result in the loss of the entire kidney.  I am okay with this.  I wanted the surgery now because I worried that if we waited, we would have to take the entire kidney.  But it looks like that could be the case with surgery now.  We can't radiate there again, as the doctor thought we had most likely given the max dose of radiation to that area.

Of course I am still hoping that the tumors will just chill and stay where they are, but in my experience with my cancer, if it isn't shrinking it will eventually grow.

I feel strangely prepared for whatever at this point.  I have already been through the emotions of re-occurrence, and the disappointment of drug failure.  Not to mention the cancer being almost as bad as it can get (brain tumors).  So what can't I handle at this point?

This Sunday I taught Relief Society in my new ward (lots of Mormon lingo here-sorry) for the first time.  We were talking about procrastinating repentance.  I told a little bit of my story.  I told them I had 25 deadly brain tumors, and how the cancer could have taken me in months.  I explained that it was still hard to repent, or change, even though I knew when I would probably meet my Maker (I'm still working on some things, which is probably why I'm still here.  The moral of the story was that change takes time).   Well, I kind of left that I'm not dying anymore.  I forgot to tell them the part where all the brain tumors disappeared.

I have been worried since that someone is worried about me.  But that is just too much worrying.  Rest assured, friends, that life for me is so very good.

Today I got to register for 8th grade with James (middle school halls-YIKES).  And it was 'Eat Lunch With Your Kids' day at the grade school.  Luke shoved all his food in his face to get to recess ASAP.  He left me with a one of his huge hugs a favorite saying, "I love you Mom.  You're the best."  Sam took his time.  He sat and looked me in the eyes and chatted about his funny day at school.  He waited politely till I told him he better run out and get some exercise.  "Thanks for coming Mom!"

This is what I fought for.  This is exactly what I wanted out of life.  Every day I am fulfilled.

"Mom, are we millionaires?"  Oh, Sam.  Practically. 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

stable disease

The tumors have not grown.  Nothing in the brain, nothing new in the body.  The only disappointment my doctor has is that they didn't separate from the kidney to make taking it out surgically an easy decision (those tumors did not shrink).  At this point it would require a partial nephrectemy.  Do we do that now, or wait for three months and see if things improve?  If we wait will we end having to take out more of the kidney to get rid of the disease?

Doctor is leaning toward waiting.  He will talk to the surgeons and get back to me. 

Stable disease is awesome, by the way.  A great big sigh of relief. 

Monday, March 3, 2014

seasonal affective disorder

This week (Wed. afternoon) we will find out scan results.  I expect that we will see continued shrinkage and won't have to do any more treatments right now.  I seriously hope so, this break has been so nice.

I can see changes in myself that are very encouraging.  I have tackled a few projects around the house.   I am no longer wearing a sweatshirt every day of the week.  I have started reading books again.  We even went on an overnight family vacation, which I don't think we have done since school started. 

Truly, I have not been super fun or motivated this year.  I felt pretty happy (except when I was super sick).  Still.  I have wondered if perhaps I was depressed.  Climbing back in bed after I got the kids off the school was becoming a habit tradition.  I really had a hard time finding things that sounded fun to do.  I felt very uninspired.  Then I realized it was February and laughed it off as much as I could, and stayed in bed if I wanted to.  This is just what February does to me.  Cancer aside, it would likely be the same kind of thing. 

It all seems to be improving.  There are signs of Spring (that beautiful Thing!) all around the valley.  Wouldn't good news this week just fit right in?