Saturday, June 28, 2008

Another try....

Where to begin?

I began my second round of chemo treatments yesterday. I am participating in a research study for a new drug called patupilone. I had a 50/50 chance of receiving the new drug or another one called Doxil. The study is in phase III and is to determine the benefits/drawbacks of side effects for both drugs.

I was excited to learn Wednesday that I would be receiving the patupilone. Doxil has the typical chemo side effects, including nausea, vomiting, neuropathy and reddening of hands and feet. The patupilone's main side effect is diarrhea. Typically, I should begin to feel the effects within 24 hours, but more likely it will take 7-9 days after the initial infusion.

I will be traveling to St. Louis every three weeks for the infusion, and will be able travel there and back in the same day! This will do wonders for us. We are determined to keep our home life as normal as possible and this will really help.

It is important to remember that I may never be 'cured' of this cancer, but rather, it can be managed and I can have a very happy and fulfilling life in spite of it. And that is important. I am alive now and continue to thrive.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Stop and Smell the River?

Stop and smell the roses. Such a trite line, but one that came to mind today. Richie and I rode our bike to the Farmers Market, a lovely habit we have formed over the last few years. Saturday mornings take on this lazy, happy quality that ease us out of the work week and into the weekend.

On our way home, we saw a blue heron on the dam. It was standing still, so quiet. We decided to stop. As we watched the bird, we noticed first one, then two fish fighting their way up the dam. Then we spied a turtle slowly plodding against a strong current.

I rarely take the time to notice these happenings. There is life all around me. There is good all around me. Stop and smell the roses, or the Kaw river water. Either way it was a beautiful moment in time.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Cancer Rears its Ugly Head...

I am headed to chemotherapy next week. The cancer has returned. I am hopeful this next phase of my treatment will contain the growth and possibly even get rid of all the cancer.

We found on yesterday, June 18. It was not a good day. Lots of tears, a few laughs, a couple of glasses of wine and we have arrived at day one. I know I can survive this, it is a big bump in the road, but I am strong and determined.

I will be participating in a research study and will have more information regarding that next week. Keep me in your thoughts and prayers, I will do the same for you. And give my babies and Richie some extra special care when you see them...they really need it.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Moving Forward

Good news! I am going to St. Louis next week for another CA125 and CTscan. I asked the doc this morning if any of my symptoms indicated a return of the cancer. Not necessarily, he said. I don't care either way. Just for today, I get to thing about this just as a hernia problem and not as a cancer problem. I like that. I am going to hold on to it all day long as I sit on my couch, knit and watch bad television.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Hernia, schmernia...

When I had the 'second half of my hysterectomy' surgery in December, I had a few complications. I had a not so nice nurse, reactions to medication and multiple infections in my wound. I was sent home with a machine called a 'wound-vac' which was supposed to cut my healing time down tremendously. It did cut the healing time down, but it was a painful and laborious process to change the dressings. This had to be done every other day and was not something I looked forward to. And I later found out that using the wound vac increased my chances of having hernias.

I told my husband that if anyone ever suggested abdominal surgery again, I was not going to do it. Fast forward a few months, I found out I had surgical hernias, two of them. I was not happy with this bit of news, although it was better than cancer. So, the repair of the hernias is imminent, it should be done sometime this summer and I am hoping for a better outcome in terms of complications.

So far I have not had any symptoms from the hernias - other than looking a few months pregnant - until last night. I am pretty sure the back and abdominal pain, nausea and slight constipation I starting experencing are not a good sign. Let's hope we don't have another emergency surgery situation. Those are no fun....

And let's hope the surgeon can get me in sooner rather than later...

Monday, June 2, 2008

She's Coming Home!

My husband's family has a tradition/history of private study abroad with a family in Poland. Our 14 year old daughter left on March 3 to spend some time there, learn the language, have an experience, etc. Tonight at 6:30pm she will return. I couldn't sleep last night I was so excited.

I have missed her terribly, it felt like a physical part of me was missing. She is a delight and any of you who know me, her or any one in my family know that she is a true treasure. I cannot wait to hold her in my arms again and touch her beautiful face! Sheer joy.