Saturday, June 26, 2010

What comes next?

I had a follow-up appointment on the 17th with my surgeon and she is really pushing chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Almost to the point that she is not going to take "no" for an answer if that is my decision. She doesn't know me very well. It is very obvious that she treats breast cancer aggressively.

On the 22nd I had an appointment with my oncologist. My first question was, "What are my options." I was very pleased with the outcome of that visit. He said that I have several options. Chemo which would be four treatments and not quite as aggressive as my last chemo, and/or radiation therapy which he did not feel was necessary unless that is my choice. The third option was anti-hormonal therapy, "Arimidex", a pill that would be taken every day. Number one side effect - "hot flashes" - oh joy!

He was aware that my surgeon was pushing for both chemo and radiation, but as he said, she is not aware of "the elephant in the room", meaning my endometrial cancer which is still first and foremost the cancer that we are most concerned about.

After much discussion he realized that I really wanted to hold off on any decisions until after my next PET scan and CA125 (blood test). I thought that I had to wait until August to get it because that would be six months since the last one. He assured me that we do not have to wait and he wrote the order for it while I was in the office. He did however suggest that we wait about three weeks so I have time to heal. My PET scan is scheduled for July 16th. I will make a decision about treatment after I know the results.

On Wednesday I started driving again. I was off the pain pills except for maybe late in the evening. It was so good to get out without being escorted. I still can't use my right arm for any heavy duty stuff, like changing the sheets on the bed or reaching out to pull the car door shut when I am with someone else. It will come with time. I know I still need to heal on the inside.

On Thursday I went to Idaho Springs with the seniors from church for a picnic. Idaho Springs is one of my favorite, close by, places to go. We sat by the rushing creek and watched the rafters go by one after the other. It was a good day in spite of the fact that they would not let me do anything. Good thing - I was still really tired when I got home.

On Friday I had to get my drains out. This has been a tedious process because I am on Coumadin (blood thinner) and I have to be off of it for four days before they pull the drains. But, they were still draining too much on Tuesday to have them pulled. I cannot keep going on and off my meds to get this done so they went ahead and pulled them on Friday.

This is finally Saturday and I have to admit that I am worn out, so I am hanging low today and Ember is right with me. She is laying on top of the printer as I type. What a blessing she has been - beside me constantly.

This journey has been hard and continues to be a hard journey - so I still take it one day at a time. My attitude is much better than I thought it would be after loosing a breast. It hurts and it looks ugly - and then I think about all the other people suffering from cancer and what they are going through. There are so many, so many. Everyone I know is touched by cancer in some way, family or friend. How can we possibly keep our wits about us except through God Almighty.

"It ought to be the business of every day to prepare for our last day."
~Matthew Henry
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