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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  1. I am NOT medically qualified to make this recommendation. Having said that, Mom had a hysterectomy at 51 with heavy radiation. 16 years later it returned to same spot. Had mastectomy & began anti hormonal drug. Has had tons of side effects and tried various drugs. Has aged considerably in last three years - we think due to the rapid elimination of remaining P & E hormones (like what happens naturally as a woman ages). Just some perspective. Depends how much the cancer was feeding on the hormones in your case. Is the risk of return high enough in your case to justify the extensive aging that may result from the drugs?

    1. My cancer is highly ER ad PR positive--in the 90% range, so hormone therapy will be happening. And, the risks of side effects of blood clots, stroke, etc. are too risky with the premenopausal drug to consider taking that at this point, especially since I am non-weight baring in a wheelchair. So, I need to have hormone production stopped either through surgery or chemically and will be on anti hormone drug for a minimum of five years. I'm just trying to figure out which option is best--any thoughts?


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