Friday, December 2, 2016

Next steps...

Just got home after spending all day at the surgeon's office. She was in an emergency surgery which kept running longer & being more complicated than expected. The surgeon isn't sure if the enlarged/shining area is a lymph node or something else and feels that a better CTscan of the area is needed to be positive of exact location, etc. I'm scheduled for that scan on Wednesday. After that, I am to see a gastroenterologist in her group that will do an endoscopic ultrasound with fine needle aspiration of the area. I don't have a date/time for this yet, but hopefully this would go ahead and tell us for sure if it is cancer, types of cells, etc. Then we will have to discuss actual surgery as needed based on the results of that and the location, etc.

During the waiting, I actually thought of a couple questions that I had forgotten to ask my oncologist when she talked to me Monday on the phone. Since we were in the same building, I went down to see if I could possibly ask her assistant, and she came out to talk to me. (This is just part of why I feel so thankful to have her in my corner) I was able to learn about our what our next steps would be medicine wise if it comes back like we think it will of being still estrogen positive cancer. It was a little hard to hear that she thinks moving out of the AI group of drugs that I've been on to a different treatment of a shot and pill combo each month would be the best way to proceed. The regimen she mentioned isn't traditional chemo, but it is still a bit harder than what I've been on so far. Regardless, knowledge is power, and it helps me to know what our next steps in that realm would be.  

I have to think back to April 2013 when I asked my oncologist how long people usually got from my current med, and she said months. At that time, I would have been thrilled to know that I would get 45 months out of it. I've had a good run, and if this med has run its course, she fully believes that we can get me back to a good place. I'm just not ready to see NED go away yet, but I may not have a choice for awhile. So, what I would ask for currently is that you please send good thoughts and prayers that everything is scheduled quickly and that if at all possible the outcome of the aspiration is that there is no more surgery needed (preferably that it is an anomaly & isn't cancer, but realistically, both drs so far seem to believe that my cancer returning is most probable from size, how it lit up on the scan, etc.).

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Normal has never felt so good

My tumor markers are still in the normal range which means I'm still NED past my 4 year cancerversary.  Normal has never felt so good :)   My oncologist has decided that since my markers have been so reliable that we will only do the PTscans once a year; so, that means no scan until November.  That is a little bit scary, but considering they are injecting radiation into my veins, I'm also perfectly happy to not have that done as often.

I've got one more trip this summer before school starts, and I'm very excited about it.  I'm doing a Canada/New England cruise with my parents. After  the cruise, I'll get to go to Nashville to love on my new little nephew that will be here by that time.  Just thinking about him and all of the wonderful things that have occurred over the last 4 years, and I'm so humbled and appreciative of every moment that I have had.  After that, it will be back to the grind with school starting.  Hope everyone has a few more moments of fun before their "back to the grind" begins!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Nearing my 4 year cancerversary

I haven't blogged much in the past year because I've been pretty busy with working full-time at FC, part-time online, and continuing to travel and spend time with family. I've enjoyed my work, and I am thankful to continue with it over the next school year.  The travel has been pretty amazing as well.
In January before the spring semester began, I went with Mom & Dad to Panama. It was a fascinating trip to learn about the country and traveling through the locks was amazing!

At the end of February, I walked the Disney Princess 10K with Amy and Carole, and the three of us along with Laura had a fun weekend together.

For spring break, the whole family was able to get together in Destin, FL.  Even though the weather didn't cooperate for the beach most of the time, we had a wonderful time being together.

 I took two island trips courtesy of timeshare and airline points .  Early in May, it was Bermuda with its pink sand and shipwrecks.

I went at the end of May/ beginning of June to St. Maarten with day trips to Anguilla & St Barths. This island was so interesting with the dual cultures of French and Dutch along with Maho Beach where the planes fly in right over your head.
Later in June, my parents and I traveled to Brian Head, Utah to stay in one of their timeshares that allowed us to make trips to Bryce Canyon, the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, and Zion National Park.  Each park was different, but so beautiful in their own ways.

Now, I'm in North Carolina enjoying my yearly trip with my sister & her family at our timeshare.

 It was here on a Tuesday that I got the call that it was cancer, and even though the physical date is the 17th, today always feels like the anniversary. I am still No Evidence of Disease, and I'm thankful to have been NED for over 3 years now.  A doctor did give me a little scare at the end of school as they wanted something checked, but it has been found to not be anything worrisome. With my history, the doctors are always going to be extra careful; so, this is probably not the last time that we will double-check things.  Though it was a little stressful, I can't complain as it is better to check things out than risk a more serious issue later.

I will get my bone infusion next Friday (7/22) along with having tumor markers run. So thankful for the past 4 years, and I'm hoping for many more to come. I would appreciate your prayers for good results with this coming bloodwork.  Hope everyone is having a wonderful summer!