PET Results

Sep 25

I have new PET scan results.  It shows no new cancer spots, but all the cancer spots in my chest are slightly larger and slightly more active than they were at my last scan last quarter.  Progression stinks. It means we’re switching drugs again because the Carboplatin and Herceptin are not doing the job.  I will start Ibrance and Faslodex.  I continue to be blessed in that my cancer is not growing by leaps and bounds.  Millimeter increases are acceptable in the short term, but still not good for the long term.  It’s not my style to waste time on worry and what-ifs, so I won’t.  I’ll be praying that the new drugs are my miracle drugs that beat the cancer down significantly. Dr. Wonderful is on the cutting edge of medical knowledge and treatments, and is being creative to give me every medical advantage he can.  I’m grateful: every question and thought that I had today he had already considered and evaluated.  He rocks. Neither of my new drugs are technically chemotherapy drugs; it’s the first time in more than two years that I won’t be getting a chemo drug (I’ve had a half-dozen or more in a row).  Instead, Ibrance is a targeted therapy drug: it targets specific pathways to stop the cancer growing, and Faslodex inhibits the hormone pathways.  A silver lining is definitely that I might start to feel better, as my body won’t be absorbing poison every week. I appreciate your prayers and support more than you know!  Thank you for engaging in my story. Please keep my children in mind as you read and share my news: our hope is that Maren and Greta can talk about me and my cancer only if and when they want to share.  Maren has a support network of adults and Greta’s is evolving as she ages into it.  If you and/or your children see my children, please make our wishes a part of your parenting conversations if you are sharing the news with them.  The emotional challenge is hard for the girls and we need your help.  Thank you for protecting them with...

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Random catch up

Sep 20

I haven’t written a lot lately… I’ve been really prioritizing being p.r.e.s.e.n.t. in the space I’m in.  Summer, with the girls home all day, was wonderful. I titled this post random catch up, because that’s what it is.  Almost every snippet could be a longer story, but ‘random catch up’ is feeling like the right thing for tonight.  I don’t have any news or updates to share. Now the girls are in school and I’m filling in my days with ease.  As my mom would say, I’ve always enjoyed the pleasure of my own company.  And as my dad would say, I (we) work hard and play hard. I’ve started on Halloween costumes (a happy heart project for me).  I’ve cleaned out a few corners of clutter.  I’ve had coffee and lunches with a few people, and have a long list of more connections I’d like to make.  I’ve read some books.  I take naps. After a summer break, I re-started asking helpers to come on Mondays while I’m at chemo.  Generally, I leave a list and whomever comes also does whatever they see that needs doing.  It’s amusing to see what projects they take on.  Opening a cleaned and organized “junk drawer” leaves one with both the thrill and the horror that someone has organized my junk drawer.  It is the simultaneous joy of twenty-four inches of removed chaos, and the embarrassment that my chaos is exposed.  (The joy always wins for me!)  I asked this weeks cleaner to peel and chop my mix of sweet potatoes and russet potatoes for dinner, and they found and identified an errant rutabaga that I’d inadvertently purchased.  (I am not a chef; I don’t have the first clue how to prepare rutabaga.)  Rutabaga is not going on my list of favorite veggies, however I very much appreciate the laughter that we shared together. Maren learned her first hairstyle and — no bun or ponytail for her — she does the most darling pair of dutch french braids that you ever did see.  She braided her own hair for picture day this year, and she wore a shirt I bought her from the *junior department*.  She’s such a wonderful person to be around....

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Realizing a dream

Sep 06

Realizing a dream

During my very first semester of college in the fall of 1997, I took a class at Miami University called Geography of US National Parks.  I selected it as one of my core foundations classes to check the box for a physical science credit.  It sounded interesting when I signed up and it exceeded my expectations in every way.  It was a fascinating class: the professor would spend the entire class sessions showing photos of his personal trips to the parks and explain in detail how they were geographically formed.  It was like nerd nature camp twice a week, and I loved going to that class. Twenty years later, I still remember what was important to me about that class: Natural places need to be preserved, and I love the parks system in this country. Science is awesome.  Awesome. I got an ‘A’ in the class, and retain a surprising number of facts and knowledge. The #1 national parks trip I would like to take after viewing and understanding the formation of the many parks in this diverse country through the class was to go to Grand Canyon National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, and Zion National Park.  I don’t remember exactly why I chose those three, other than their relative proximity to each other, but I knew I’d narrowed it down to those three based on the class lectures and all I’d learned.  It’s one of those “dream trip” ideas that I probably shared with Brad in our first getting-to-know you conversations, and it has been percolating on our (very, very lengthy) to do list for the past fourteen years. And last week Brad took me, Maren, and Greta to see them. And I had tears in my eyes from both the beauty of the land and the love of my man. And my heart is so full. It’s impossible to describe it all.  My professor had ninety minutes, a slide show, and knew all the things.  Here’s a few pictures, but the good ones are on Brad’s camera.   If I had been to these parks before I had children, it’s entirely possible that my redhead would have been named Bryce and my towhead would have been named Zion.  And...

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