Wednesday, March 31, 2010

On a precipice...

I feel as though I am standing on a precipice. It could be the steroids coursing through my body.  It could be the chemo I received Monday and Tuesday.  It could be the general anxiety I feel during week one of chemo.  I had my ninth infusion of carboplatin and gemzar on Monday.  It was a strange stay in the hospital.  I was more anxious than usual going in, hadn’t slept well in the days before, and generally felt strange.

I have been thinking a lot about continuing the chemo. I wonder how much longer this one will work for me, how much longer can I go with it before it stops working or becomes too toxic for my body.  And I have been thinking about how wonderful it will be to stop chemo.  It would be wonderful, after almost three years of continuous chemotherapy, to just stop.  And that’s when I get panicky.  My experience has been that when I stop chemo (for a surgical procedure or something), the cancer returns with a vengeance. 

And then those thoughts bring me full circle.  What if the cancer is gone this time? What if I have managed to find remission?  Wouldn’t that be wonderful?  The truth is that I really feel quite peaceful in the midst of all the uncertainty. For the last sixth months I have been living in the present, more so that at any other time in my illness.  Since Dr. C gave us the talk late last September, I have resigned myself to the idea that this is a chronic disease. I accept now that today is the best day. Today I am content.

We had a lovely holiday season, no worries or sickness hanging over our heads.  We managed, along with every one else, to live through this long, long winter.  Even on the cloudy days we found things to be happy about. We went to the mountains over Spring Break, giving ourselves that long dreamed of trip. That trip we kept putting off until later. It was incredible.  We had five full days. We got to have M and C all to ourselves.  They were such great company.  I really enjoyed spending so much time with them and having an adventure that didn’t revolve around the cancer.

Now spring is here and we are finding our way outside. Richie and his brothers built a new workshop in the back shed over the winter.  He has dedicated workspace for his motorcycles now and is very happy.  The kids helped me rake up all the leaves we didn’t clean up last fall. They didn’t complain once! We really enjoyed ourselves. 

And here I am on the precipice.  Things have really been going our way and maybe I am on the cusp of something good.  Thanks for all the good wishes, for the hugs and good cheer when we see all of you! I love the words of encouragement and really do take the words to my heart.  I know I am looking stronger and when you all recognize it, it gives me strength. So thank you, thank you all for taking such good care of us these past few years.  The prayers and positive energy have really been working, so please don’t stop!

Love and hugs,

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Life News!

My CA125 is down to 5!  

This last year has really been a long, long journey for me.  I am tired, but very happy.  I am working hard at staying healthy, continuing my Vitamin C infusions, taking all my vitamins and supplements and watching my diet.  I eat what I can when I am feeling nauseous and then eating the right things when I feel good. The coming of Spring has brought warmer days and I am getting out for a daily walk.  This is helping me get physically stronger and then I can fight the cancer even better. 

I go in to the hospital next Monday, March 8, for my eighth course of chemo. I don't know how many more I will have. The way I see it, I can continue like this for a while. I am sure I will have two more courses of chemo (Monday's and then my ninth) and beyond that I don't want to know.  I need to live the life I have right now.  If I live too far in the future, I might lose sight of what is right in front of me.  I am not prepared to do that.  So I am happy to keep going the way I am.  

Richie, M and C are doing pretty well, too. Richie continues to be very, very busy with work.  It seems they are just on the cusp of big things. This should be an exciting, but crazy year for him. M is leaving for her trip to Chicaco with her high school orchestra.  They are performing and studying with the Northwestern Univ. Orchestra in early March. She is also a finalist for the NSLI-Y Study Abroad Program.  We should know by the end of March if she was chosen to participate. If she gets her first choice program, she'll be in Russia for the summer. She'll have intensive language studies and live with a Russian family.  I hope she gets her dream, but oh, I will miss her so!  C is getting ready to start track. He's running distance and loves it.  He's doing well in school and still loving his music.  He started trumpet lessons this past fall.  The trumpet added to drums and piano makes for a lively (and noisy) household. I keep telling myself that one day I will miss hearing all the noise.  That makes it easy to listen to.

We're off to the mountains for Spring Break.  Richie and the kids will get to go downhill skiing.  I will get to visit yarn shops in the area.  We finally decided to actually go on that spring break skiing trip we've been talking about.  We'll be in Dillon, CO. This is a good, central area for some good, cheap skiing.  

I hope you're all doing well. I hope Spring gets here soon.  I think I will have the strength to get out in the yard more this year and that is a good feeling. Richie did some early Spring cleaning on the porch this past weekend and I can't wait to put all the cushions and pillows out there, plop my body down on the couch and enjoy the breezes.  Thanks again to everyone for all your help and for the prayers and caring.  I could not have made it this far without your help, I am positive of that, so keep all the good intentions coming my way for a while longer, if you could....I still need the help!

I can hear the geese heading north, time to get out for a walk!
Love and Hugs,