My second PET scan "showed significant reduction" in my cancer. Yay! Again... one of those things I should be happier about but can't really seem to work up the enthusiasm. Yes, I am glad to have the good news.... but no I am not happy to have cancer. Yes, I am not going to die any time soon unless I get hit by a bus... but no, this is never going away. It's incurable. Like a tattoo, I will carry it around with me for the rest of my life. Unlike a tattoo, it will not sag and look ridiculous. I guess there's something positive in that.
My epidural worked well... and now it's not working any more. I'll be calling the surgeon to get another one scheduled. I'm trying to decide if I should do that now, or wait until it gets a little worse. Talked to my oncologist, Dr. N yesterday, and he thinks we should wait a little bit, but not too long. I don't want to be incapacitated again, but if I can stretch it out a bit more, I might want to do that. I'm dragging my right foot again, and the neuropathy seems to be getting a bit worse. I'm going to give it another week and see where we are then.
I can't remember if I told you (chemo brain) that Dr. N reduced my Vincristine dose last time because of the pain from neuropathy. Well, he did. He asked me last week what I thought about bumping it back up, and I said we should go for it. So we did. (I love that he asks... I feel like I am an active participant in my treatment.) I had the chemo today, so we'll soon see what happens. That may be a factor in my epidural and how long I wait to schedule it.
This Friday, David and I will go to Greenville to meet with Dr. S, who does stem cell transplants. The plan is that I will go into remission from this treatment cycle, and then when I relapse again, we may do an autologous stem cell transplant. That means that they will harvest my stem cells to use. This will (may) happen at some unknown point in the future. No one really knows how long my remission will last. Dr. N says a year to 18 months would be a "good, long remission period" for me. I'm hoping and praying that it's longer, but only God really knows. It's hard to pray for God's will when you want him to cure you, but that's what I am doing. I have to trust that He has a plan for me, and it's better than any plan I could come up with on my own. I think David prays for a miracle. That would be nice. As long as it fits in with the plan.
I have been blessed. I still have my hair, and according to Crickett, who is my sweet, sweet friend and stylist, it is not coming out. So, I will invest in some hair color. And then if it falls out, I'm gonna make her glue it back on.
I have also not been sick even once. I have thought I might have felt it coming on a couple of times, but I popped one of the anti-nausea pills they gave me, and I felt fine. I might pop one when I finish this post. It's either chemo related nausea, or too many chicken wings.
That's the other thing. I was looking forward to being slightly gaunt from chemo. You know, just gaunt enough that people would say "You know, you could stand to gain a few pounds." Not "Oh my gosh, are you SICK?" Chemo chic, I call it. Well, it's not happening. Instead, I am now taking THREE drugs that increase my appetite or cause weight gain. I have rolled right off of the Weight Watchers wagon and begun cramming food into my mouth with wild abandon. (Hold on, let me unbutton my jeans..... ahhh... better!)
So... this Friday I am going to bite the bullet, march into Weight Watchers, lumber onto the scale and find out what the damage is. Then, I am going to start tracking my points and start eating like a reasonable adult instead of a child locked into a candy store overnight. I hope.
Focused prayer for:
- no side effects from the increased dose of Vincristine
- willpower to stick to WW
- better results from the next epidural
- my next blog post to be more entertaining (we could all use that)