Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Chemo Free Days

Today I am at home having a vitC treatment. I love these days. It is so nice to be in my home and in my jammies.
I am not watching the calendar, nor am I counting the days, but it has been almost six weeks since my last chemo treatment. I don’t know if that was my last treatment or not, but I do know that I love, love, love being off chemo! It feels so good to FEEL GOOD.

Last night we went to C's last band concert of the school year. It was wonderful. His instructor is a fantastic teacher and the band is talented and fun to watch. They did an excellent job. I was reminded that last year at this time, I was fighting my way out of the hospital so that I could attend a ceremony for Madeline’s 9th grade recognition. I remember telling the doctor, who was reluctant to release me, that I didn’t know how much ‘time’ I had and that I wasn’t going to waste any of it laying in an uncomfortable hospital bed missing my child’s shining moment. I was full of piss and vinegar that day, but I was also scared to miss any chance to see my babies shine!

Fast forward one year – I am walking the dogs for an hour each morning (about 3 miles or so), taking a good bike ride during the day and taking a spin with Rich after he gets home from work. I visit the library, the post office and sometimes the bakery:) on my brand new blue bike! Everyone deserves a little treat now and then! I start a spin (bike) class the first week of June and plan to start yoga again about the same time. I feel like I can do anything right now and I haven’t had any steroids in about six weeks! I sent in my application for the rafting trip yesterday and mowed the back yard. Last year, I was on doxil and could not be in the sun. I spent a lot of time sitting on the porch. While that was peaceful and calming, it is far better to be on the mower and planting flowers.

School is almost over. M leaves for Russia in less than six weeks. I had a good cry today about that one. She reminded me that I would spend the first week missing her, the second week getting used to her being gone, and then she’d be home in less than five weeks! She seems to have adopted my tendency to rationalize anything. I am thankful for that.

Charlie is finishing eighth grade and will be in high school next year. Yikes! How did that happen? I am looking forward to being able to concentrate on just Charlie. He is an amazing person and is often overshadowed by Madeline. He will have some time to shine while she is gone.

I go in to the hospital tomorrow for a short procedure. I am having stents put in my ureters. This will give the urologist a chance to look at everything, make sure my urinary tract is healthy and see what might be causing the hydronephrosis. I should be home by the end of the day.

I am looking forward to some warmer days, we’ve had lots of rain and not enough sun for my liking, but really I am happy with anything. I am just happy, it’s as simple as that. Send your good energy, prayers and thoughts my way this next week. I have another oncology check-up on Friday, May 28. I hope to share good news, but I am prepared for whatever life throws at me! I am doing my best to enjoy every day, chemo free or not!


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Good Life News

We are busy busy busy LIVING right now. It seems that there is something to do every day after school and every night another errand to run. I love and hate this time of year. Spring is wonderful and the weather has been fantastic, but it seems school is busy cramming everything into the last three weeks. Madeline is playing soccer, two games a week. Charlie just finished up track season and there are band and orchestra concerts to attend. What am I complaining about?!? At least I am alive to do these things! Silly me. I will stop with the complaining. LIFE IS WONDERFUL!!!

I have had a three week break from chemo and have enjoyed the time off immensely. After my last round of chemo, it was time to reevaluate my treatment. Dr. C ran the usual blood work and I had a CTscan. The CTscan was negative, showing no cancer. What a relief it is when those results are given. I feel good, I look good, but will the test reflect that? They sure did this time! My CA125 (which was taken this last Monday) was 40. That was disappointing – up from 16 and totally going in the wrong direction. I let myself feel down about it, but Richie reminded me about how good I feel, how good I am looking and how well things have been for me physically. So I let myself feel sad for awhile. I think I am over it now….

The CTscan also showed that I have something called “hydronephrosis of the kidneys.” This is a swelling in the ureters, something usually associated with kidney stones. Dr. Chapman thought I would need to have stents inserted in my ureters and her staff was working to find time for the urologist to do this and for Dr. Chapman to do an pelvic exam under anesthesia. This is mostly why I got a three week break from chemo, the scheduling was difficult, but Dr. Chapman didn’t seem to be worried about me not being on chemo for that period of time.

Long story made even longer – the urologist was sure I did not need stents. He feels that this will be a chronic problem, a result of the re-implantation of the ureters into the kidneys from the January 2009 surgery. I seem to have a ‘back flow’ problem. I have an appointment with him tomorrow morning to discuss the results of a recent renal lasik test. This was done last week and is a nuclear medicine exam to test the function of the urinary tract. I hope to have a clear answer tomorrow regarding the ureters and what I can expect in that regard for the future.

The most important news though I have saved for last. Today I had my exam with Dr. C and she DID NOT find any cancer!! She spoke with Richie after the exam and she said we are on the high side of the roller coaster. I prefer the peaks to the valleys. She is a wonderful doctor and a pragmatist. She won’t give us estimations and guesses. She gives us hope though to help us through the good and bad and I am glad to be in her care. And her approach works for helps me to appreciate each day and live it to the fullest. I will always have the ovarian cancer to contend with. It will always be a part of my life. How I let the cancer define my life will be up to me.

The most important thing I take away from today is that the good physical health that I am feeling is reflected in my blood work, scans and physical exams. The better I feel, the more I can do and the stronger I feel. Naturopathic and homeopathic medicine stresses the importance of keeping oxygen levels high by exercising and eating well. I am doing all of those things and in celebration of that I bought a new bike today. It’s blue and I love it. I rode it home from the bike shop and then Richie and I went on a short bike ride. I have been walking every day, but I love bike riding and I haven’t been out on my own in two years. It felt so good and I had a big smile on my face!

I hope you are all doing well. Thanks for the prayers and good energy. I feel it, I am living it and I wish I could hug each and every one of you right now to show you just how well your prayers have been working.