My snow day

Posted Feb 9, 2017 4:17pm

I woke up this morning, and everything was quiet. That peaceful quiet that only happens after it has snowed. Weird how that is, right? Somehow the snow blocks sound or catches it or softens it or something. Am I right? I guess you need things to block out all the noise on occasion.

I had a bad scan. The cancer is doing things. Not a lot of things, but things none-the-less. The lymph node that was biopsied in November is twice the size (still tiny, granted, but twice the tiny size that it was in November) and now there are specks in my lungs. Nothing crazy, and nothing remotely big enough to biopsy other than MAYBE that tiny lymph node again (but is it necessary? In all likelihood it could come back as “undetermined” anyway because of the tininess and location).

My cancer numbers are still stable; I feel fine.

And we have a plan. Since the scan, I have spoken with my doc at Hershey many times, including an appointment this morning. We also went to Fox Chase on Monday for a follow-up with the specialist there. I had chemo today, same treatment, but we increased the dose up to 80%; I have been on 60% since September. Also, I am meeting with the radiation doctor on Tuesday to see if we can zap the lymph node that is growing, as that seems to be the biggest concern.

And then we wait and watch. Give the treatment and radiation a bit of time to work. And check things. Scan. Cancer markers. Wait and watch, watch and wait.

In the meantime, I am going to work and play and yoga and cook healthy and help my sister move into her new house and do laundry and hang out with friends and have a February Sucks party and plan a trip to Spain and, well, live, generally. Probably have to get my oil changed. You know. Life stuff. I may lose some hair again and maybe have a little more fatigue and I will still hate the rash, but I will continue to thank God for every day. And then when this little treatment change works, I will celebrate and my anxiety will ease for a bit and I may forget that I have cancer for a few moments until the next hill on this ridiculous roller coaster.

Because, no matter what color glasses I decide to peer through, this is kind of my reality. I have felt like this before: anxious, obviously. Pissed off. Sure. Reaching for little shards of hope and positivity and grabbing them with gusto. Always. Even some despair. No one should have to feel like this! But you know what? I’m almost good at navigating these emotions (I kind of hate that). I have gotten through it before, and I will again. We have changed treatment plans in the past, and they have worked every time. I will hope and pray that the same thing happens this time, and I know you will, too.

If this plan doesn’t work, docs have a plan B. If that doesn’t work, I do believe there is a plan C. And a few options after that. There are also clinical trials out there. And I pray for more trials and ideas. Wisdom for doctors and researchers; compassion as well, as I hope they are thinking of those of us “lab rats” who have to find ways to embrace the poison.

I pray all the time that God opens doors for me that will lead us in the right direction, and that he grants ME the wisdom to see those opportunities when they present themselves. For example, I have been incorporating the Budwig diet protocol (similar to what I have been doing – mostly plant-based, no sugars or processed foods, etc. but also high amounts of flax seed and oil, incorporated with cottage cheese. Weird. Whatever. I can try it.). Basically, I will do whatever it is that I have to do. Just show me the way, please.

I made what I am going to call my “altar” on the window ledge above the kitchen sink. I wash dishes, like, 37 times a day, so you can’t miss it. There’s a bible verse, a note card that says, “Choose Hope”, a picture of Xander and Tim at the Climbnasium, the three of us at Xander’s 2nd birthday party, etc. All the reasons and reminders of why I’m doing this. Every time I wonder if it’s worth it, I look there. Every time I feel anxious, I look there. Every time I’m thankful, I look there. It works. It’s working. I’m working.

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