Sunday, October 06, 2013

Finding Silver Linings

This is my 100th post.

It's only taken me over 6 years to get to 100!  Well - that and cancer.  Let's face it, I didn't start blogging on a regular basis again until I started fighting cancer. 

Last week, my husband and I went down to Houston for a consult at MD Anderson.  We were hoping that I might qualify for a clinical trial - we had always said if I recurred, we would go there.  So - we did.

To be honest, down deep, I hoped I would go down there, and the doctor would tell me "Don't worry!  We'll cure you!"  I know it wasn't a reasonable hope, but there it is.  Needless to say, that wasn't what he said.  He did tell us that all of their clinical trials at the moment required coming to MD Anderson weekly.  We are 9 hours away from Houston, so that wasn't an option for us.  So he told us about several different second line chemo options, and gave us his recommendation for which one he would put me on if I was being treated down there.  He is supposed to send that to my oncologist here, and I meet with him in a week or so.

I have very mixed feelings about going back on chemo.  On one hand, I'm ready to start doing something before the cancer gets any worse.  My ascites in my abdomen is starting back up, and the fluid around my left lung is increasing.  The doctor in Houston was able to actually feel nodules during my physical exam.  I don't like sitting here knowing that it's growing unchecked at the moment, gnawing away at my insides like a rat that's found its way into a bag of grain.

That doesn't mean that I'm excited about being on chemo again.  Although this new regimen is supposed to be less harsh on my body - not as much nausea, I might not even lose my hair although it may thin - fatigue is supposed to be a big side effect.  I don't feel like I have that much energy right now, so that's a worry.  And any nausea is going to suck.

I try to look for silver linings.  While nausea sucks, maybe then I'll lose some of this weight I've gained back since I was able to eat everything again.  My hair came in so thick that a little thinning will probably just make it look like it did before I lost it all.  One of the new chemo drugs is supposed to work well on ascites, so that should go away quickly, and maybe I'll even get to where I can get this last catheter out. 

Most of all, I can continue to fight this lousy disease off.  Maybe - because I'm Stage IV - I can't be cured.  But as long as I can fight, I can live with stable disease.  I can learn to live with cancer. 

On the home front, my youngest was nominated for homecoming court this year.  While he wasn't elected king, we still got a kick out of him being nominated.  He looked very handsome at the pep rally last week, and he managed to make his mama both cry and laugh within two minutes.  I'm so glad I'm still here to enjoy his senior year. I'm bummed however, that every. of the pictures I took of him at the pep rally were blurry.  My only hope is that the mom of the girl he was paired with will share her pictures!

The garden is winding down.  I'm happy to report that I indeed get 1st place in the biggest watermelon contest at the fair this year.  Our entry was 40 pounds, and I'm already plotting how to grow one even bigger next year.  But there is one goal met, eh?  We didn't get as many potatoes this year as we did last year, but we did get some.  The black eyed peas are just about dead, and the green beans are debating how much longer they're willing to put out.  Our cantaloupes, after producing a ridiculous amount of large tasty melons, suddenly died out in about 3 days...some sort of powdery mildew looking stuff wiped them out.  I almost ate so much cantaloupe that I got sick of it.  Almost.  I've always loved cantaloupe.  We did have to share with friends - when you are picking 7 or 8 large cantaloupe a day, there's no way you can eat it all. 

We still have a few watermelons we need to eat, and our peas and snow peas are growing quite well.  We noticed yesterday that the peas are blooming and making peas, so I'm really looking forward to having fresh peas in a few weeks.  If you've never had fresh peas from the garden, you have no idea what you're missing!

So - wish me luck as I start this whole crazy battle up again.  I'll take any prayers, good wishes, happy thoughts and positive energy you can spare.  Because I'm not ready to give up by any means.

I'm determined I'm going to live with cancer.  Whether cancer likes that or not.  Bring it, bitch. 

I ain't skeered.  (much)

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