I know I’m long overdue for an update. The double edge sword in cancerland is that so many are this rollercoaster with me. Don’t get me wrong; I’m immensely grateful for the support, but it can also be hard sharing bad news and knowing hearts are breaking as my health journey continues.
I’ve been on this quint-chemo-cocktail for two months and Monday I had my first PET scan since starting this regimen. About a week before the scan, I started having pain in my hip so I was mentally preparing for news of progression and starting to research what treatment options are left (and, more importantly the quality of life-or lack thereof-that goes with each). I met with my oncologist on Wednesday. And, when I say “I,” I should say “My mom and I” because she comes with me to every appointment. Told ya I have the best family! Anyway, I met with my oncologist and the scan showed there might be a tiny new area in the hip, but they needed a more detailed look at that specific area. However, the other areas look STABLE! In meeting with both my oncologist and radiation oncologist they agreed that I need an MRI to check the joint integrity of the hip. If there is a new tumor forming, I’ll have radiation to alleviate the pain. Since the rest of the tumors look stable, I’m staying on this cocktail of 5 chemos. Best case scenario, I have arthritis in the hip…how many 35 year olds would be excited to have arthritis?! That’s one thing a cancer diagnosis does…makes you wonder if every ache/pain/cough/headache is cancer related.
The Metastatic Breast Cancer Network conference was incredible! There were so many amazing connections in talking with other women who are living with this disease. There was a small group sitting around discussing feeling like a burden to their family. Talking about planning funerals. Talking about missing friends who have succumbed to the disease. Talking about if their spouse would remarry and what kind of person they’d want their spouse to look for. Of course there was a lot of talking about children, the ones we’re currently raising, and the ones that will never be because cancer robbed us of our fertility. The best part of the conference was feeling so NORMAL having these discussions. Most people get uncomfortable talking about dying and how the world moves on once someone dies, although we’ve all lived through the experience of losing a loved one and continuing on in our own life. So having a safe space with others who truly “get it” was incredible. Something else incredible was the presentation by Dr. Patricia Steeg. If you’re curious about clinical trials and how the system works (and the limitations!!) then please watch her talk here (A Common Sense Approach to Metastasis Research to Achieve Results) http://mbcn.org/special-events/category/speaker-presentations/P6/
Since my last post, another Legendary Delight! Corbin turned 6!! It now takes two hands to show his age, so we’re going with the full 5 and a thumbs up!Although he was sidelined with the stomach flu part of last week, school continues to go really well for him! I’m completely amazed at what he’s learning and comprehending in kindergarten. A cute story, they were learning about empathy one week. He came in from recess and told his teacher, “I fell outside on the playgroup and someone showed me empathy when they helped me up instead of laughing at me.” How amazing that he knows what empathy is and recognizes it in others!!!
So, the plan is to stay on these 5 chemo drugs, with close monitoring of my blood counts/immune system. I’ll meet with my radiation doctor tomorrow to find out if I’m having radiation to the hip, or if there is another explanation for the pain.
I’m so very, very thankful…for my beautiful child, for my supportive family, for my loyal friends, and for the countless prayer warriors. As Corbin and I say in our prayers, “God’s plan is perfect, even if we don’t understand it.” Thank you for caring.