Monday, August 31, 2015

"I'm Gonna to Love You Through It"

I'm so thankful to my husband for loving me through this.

Pain Today . . .Strength Tomorrow

Thankful thoughts for today:
Victory in the Valley
Connecting with other survivors
Piano students

Friday, August 28, 2015

Is Cancer Gone?

I realize I've been absent from here most of this month.  That doesn't mean things have stopped happening, in fact just the opposite.  It means my life is pretty full right now and by the end of the day and time to write on this blog, I'm exhausted and just want to sleep so I can make it through another day.

So, let me take a minute and briefly catch you all up on what is going on in my life.

  • Piano lessons start again (I teach)
  • Insurance finally approved and I got my first shot of Zoladex.
  • Side effects have started arriving (post to follow)
  • PET scan complete--It was clear and did NOT "light up like a Christmas tree"
  • Baseline blood work done--no surprises
  • Bone density test complete--Diagnosis of Osteopenia
  • Anastrozole to begin in September
  • School begins
  • Fall church programs begin
My pet scan was clear, so does that mean cancer is gone?  That means there was nothing big enough to show up on the PET scan that needed to be treated with additional surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation at this time.  That does not mean there aren't rogue cancer cells floating around my circulatory system waiting to grow.  That is why I will be taking Anastrozole.  The hope is we can starve and kill them before they have a chance to grow and/or meet up.  So, is cancer gone?  The Livestrong Manifesto says, " . . .the fight never ends.  Cancer may leave your body, but it never leaves your life."  The answer is "no."  Even if there is no cancer in my body; even if surgery removed it all; cancer will always be a part of my life.  Since there is no real way of knowing if there are rogue cancer cells floating around, treatment will be a part of my life for a minimum of 5 years.

So, what do I need from you now?  I need you to continue to love and support me.  I need you to keep sending positive and/or funny thoughts, emails, Facebook posts, comments here, etc.  I need you to understand if my energy level or side effects prevents me from doing all I could do before.  And, I need advice from time to time.  Right now, I'm struggling with the decision between continuing Zoladex shots for at least the next five years OR having a hysterectomy and discontinuing Zoladex.  Any advice?

Also, any advice for managing Osteopenia?  I will be getting shots on a regular basis to help with bone density.  Any advice on natural ways through diet/exercise to help?

Thankful thoughts for today:
OTC Allergy Meds
Victory in the Valley
End in sight

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Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Acting As If

I'm about to get a PET scan and I'm choosing the "acting as if" scenario.  If I act as if everything will be fine and this is no big deal then that is what will happen right?  I've been telling everyone this is no big deal.  I even sent my husband to work this morning because everything will be fine.  My PET scan will not "light up like a Christmas tree."

I did this when I was called back for further testing after my mammogram.  It was no big deal, I sent my husband to work, etc.  That time, the results were different than expected.

I think "acting as if" is really having faith that all will be well.  Regardless of the results, all will be well.  Jesus promises, "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."  (John 16:33 NIV)  The beginning of this verse says, "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace."

So, no matter the results all will be well.  I am about to get facts about the reality of my situation.  I can deal with whatever I need to deal with, I just need to know what that is.  I am not alone.  Whatever comes, with Christ's help and the support of family and friends, I can do this.  :)

UPDATE:  PET Scan done.  I'll receive results in two weeks
                   First hormone blocker shot done.  It was Zoladex.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

The Waiting is Over . . . Or Is It?

The waiting is over.  Well, maybe not completely, but there will be a ton of activity coming up and it feels like the waiting is over and things are finally in motion.  I have at least one cancer related appointment every week this month.

I started this post at the beginning of August thinking the waiting phase was over.  Well, I was WRONG!  I have a plan in place.  I have appointments scheduled for every week this month.  I went to my first one today to learn that the waiting is not over.  You would think your oncologist could make decisions about treatment and once the plan was in place that would be the end of it.  WRONG!!!  I am waiting yet once again, this time because insurance has not yet approved the plan.  They tell me at the office that it's just a matter of paperwork and timing, but my procedure will not be paid for by insurance unless pre-approved.  They have no doubt it will be approved, but it has not been yet.  Why can't the oncologist make a decision based on his years of experience and education and insurance accept that he has made the right decision and pay for it no matter where the paperwork trail got delayed?  This shouldn't surprise me.  I've been jumping through these hoops with my wheelchair related needs (including the chair itself) for years now.  Somehow, I just thought cancer treatment would be a different story.

The waiting is over for one thing--side effects.  Some I understand.  Some are surgery related.  Some I don't quite get.  Then my husband gently reminds me that I already have nerve damage and a traumatic brain injury.  I may have a more difficult time than most determining what is a side effect of cancer treatment and what is a normal part of my disability.  I already have tingling/numbness on the entire right side of my body.  I already get headaches off and on.  But, waking up nauseated is new.  And, I don't understand.  I don't have any new chemicals in my body at this point.  But, at least the waiting for side effects is over.  I just hope a ton of new ones don't appear.

Waiting, Waiting, Waiting.  Waiting drives me crazy.  Just thought I would vent for a minute.