My third chemo treatment was on Tuesday, and it’s taken a day for all the news to settle in. My doctor reviewed the results of last Friday’s PET scan with me – the first scan since ten rounds of radiation and two rounds of chemotherapy – scheduled to determine whether any of the treatments are doing what was hoped.
I was prepared to welcome the results, whether ‘good’or ‘bad’. It wasn’t until after I’d heard all he had to say, and asked all my questions, and the day was nearly over, that I realized I had been expecting ‘bad news’. I’m not sure why. You all know I’m quite the optimist. Maybe I wanted to test myself by seeing how I’d react to more bad news.
So, the breakdown is Mostly Good News with a small bit of Bad News. The good news is that the cancer is nearly gone. I mean GONE. There are just a few spots left, and those are the larger tumors that shrunk to tiny sizes. Scattered tumors throughout my bones have disappeared. Now, I imagine my good doctor will attribute this success to the chemo and radiation, and he is welcome to. I have to admit that I attribute a small percentage of the news to his treatment. The majority of my healing I attribute to your love, concern, prayers, white light, positive thoughts, warm wishes, meditation, love, love, and love. I cannot express my gratitude in words. Just love.
Oh, the slight bad news. My lungs sustained some damage from the radiation. I have mentioned shortness of breath, and this damage is the main cause. It’s sort of like pneumonia. This may, or may not, resolve overtime.
More ‘miscellaneous news’ – I learned that some of the bone pain that bothers me is a side effect of one of the chemo drugs, and my doctor reduced the dosage of that one, so I may get a break. Bone pain is hard to describe, but let’s just say it isn’t good. In the last month, I had a rearrangement of my pain medicines and am now getting more effective relief with less adverse effects. That’s good!
Next steps – after my fourth chemo treatment on February 7th, I’ll have a CT scan to see what’s new. I’ll probably still have two more treatments after that, for a total of six, as that’s the recommended protocol they’ve found provides the least percentage of recurrence. And the type of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma is the type that rarely recurs anyway.
There’s some nerve damage here and there that may, or may not, resolve. I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. And the radiation oncologist wants to zap my left leg, where it all started, once I’m all finished with chemo. I’ll be sure to ask why. And then there’s the fracture in my T-7 vertebra which will probably have to have something done to it. I think I mentioned they might fill it with concrete – the smooth kind, not exposed aggregate.
Oh, and my doctor gave me the Best Hat Award when he walked into the room to find me wearing my Chicken Hat, by Justine Dennis. I’ll attach that picture, for those of you who haven’t seen it on Facebook. I’m also adding a couple other pictures of Justine’s hats to the Gallery here – the Swallowed by a Fish Hat, the Fedora, and the Rainbow Beret. They all get rave reviews wherever I appear.
This week is a very happy one for me. Beyond all the good news around this cancer receding, I’ve got my sweet sister, Linda, here visiting me. She’s helping me accomplish so much around the house, and shopping, and cooking, and making me laugh. All healing activities for which I’m so grateful.
All of you need to pat yourselves on the back, or on the head, for the part you’ve played in taking care of me. It’s not every day you get to conquer cancer, is it? I guess that makes you all angels.
All my Love,
Published on CaringBridge.org — January 18, 2017