Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Impatient Patient

not me or my phone, but the most accurate visual I could find with the least amount of hair (except that I was not smiling while willing my phone to ring)
Argh.  I am through with waiting.  I'm sure I've said it before , but I'll say it again like I mean it this time:  I am not a patient person.  Most of my uneasiness is due to the having no control over this cancer thing - I'm all dependent on other people doing their jobs (and in a timely manner).  And the remaining distaste I have for waiting is that I've just had to do so damn much of it over the past 2 years. 

But now that I've spoken with my doctor, I suppose I feel a little bit better.  The results of my most recent CT/PET scan were a mixed bag.  While the mass in my chest is much smaller (from a grapefruit in June to a lemon in October), there is still cancerous (also known as hypermetabolic) activity within the stubborn beast.  The numbers which represent this activity weren't as low as we had all (including Dr. H) hoped, but the progression and decrease in activity is still a good thing.

also not me, but what I've read a clean ct/pet looks like: my goal
What does this all mean?  According to Dr. H, it just means that it would be unwise to stop treatment now, and better to continue as planned to radiation.  Beyond that, we will find out more tomorrow when we meet (FINALLY) with the radiation oncologist who will determine - from looking at all of my reports and scans - exactly how many rounds of laser tag I'll be playin.  Six to eight weeks after the games end I will have another scan which will hopefully indicate levels of ZERO cancerous activity in my mediastinal lymph nodes (or anywhere else, for that matter).

It's all quite frightening and frustrating.  While I suppose I should feel happy that there has been responsive change in the tumor, I feel more let down that the scan did not show better results.  Six long rounds of terrible, horrible, no good, very bad chemo (thank you Judith Viorst) and it's not gone yet??  Ugh.  I'm glad I made Dr. H promise no more of that crap no matter what this scan showed.  Furthermore, because I'm always looking down the bumpy road ahead of me, my fears are focused on what happens after the radiation is over and all the what ifs that go along with the end of treatment.

Being a "survivor" isn't as easy as it looks.  While I know I'm in a rush to be finished with all the yucky medicine, there's so much uncertainty in life beyond cancer (still hoping I reach that step relatively quickly).  I've never liked the unknown (I like to hold the CD covers while I listen to music so I know what song is coming next).  And like my therapist (bless her) says, once you no longer have the task of just the next 3 week cycle to focus on, it's easy to let your mind run wild.

I will, however, end this post on a happy note.  I took Judah to his first (of a 10 week class) kidnastics at our township community center.  It was the only class parents are allowed to stay for, so I'm glad I got to be the one with him.  I realized how completely and utterly in love with this kid I am, watching him light up with pride after completing forward and backward rolls, or running around to the music with a megawatt smile on his face.  And not to compare him to the other kids in the group (nah, I never do that), because there were some cuties in the bunch, but he was a good listener, gave his best effort at everything (even if he isn't the best athlete - sorry, Dan, he's got my genes, too) and had a great time, despite some other children budging in line in front of him repeatedly.  He (as always) made me proud to be his mama.



  1. Thanks for the information, sweetheart.
    We are heartened by the results, and very
    proud of you.
    GG and Uncle Larry

  2. I know, I know. It's hard to "thank God for little pieces of good news" as many people tell you, isn't it???? I still remain fixed on the therapy of yelling (really really loud) - "I WANT MY LIFE BACK"...............never knowing who may be listening, I find it filled with hope and determination :) A tear or two always accompanied my ranting, so that may have been a little cathartic also.
    I hope you have a positive experience with your radiation oncologist (tell Yona it's a mistake to call him a radiologist)....... it may boost your spirits. If nothing else, it's a pleasant alternative to the dreaded chemo. Plus that, you'll learn some nice new big words :/
    Still praying for ya, toots!

  3. I think that pic looks like scarlet johanson AND like you, so I guess that's who would play you in the movies! You're such a hottie :)

  4. I must, must, must have my own copies of the 2 fantastic pictures of you in this posting. When you get a chance, please send me them so I can add them to the pictures that are part of my screen saver. Kudos to the photographer, too!