Sep 30, 2013 - 12:43 pm
I guess the great news is that my lung mets looks to be in remission. Unfortunately, I have had other problems that I hate to share (sometimes lately I feel like Debbie Downer), but I know I should be honest with you guys.
Recently, my dentist examined a small ulcer over my mandible that I showed him. He is pretty sure this is early osteonecrosis of the jaw (associated with bisphosphonates like zometa or xgeva). I am depressed because I have been meticulous with dental hygiene and dental checkups. Maybe it was caused in part from the chemo or from being on cancer dose zometa or xgeva for nearly 5 years. I am not sure. The condition is not curable and difficult to treat. I see an oral surgeon tomorrow and I will keep you all posted. The ulcer has now been there about 5-6 weeks and is not getting better. It doesn't often hurt, so I guess that is one positive thing.
Also, after a lengthy discussion with my oncologist, I have taken disability leave from work. This is the hardest decision that I have ever had to make and I have cried buckets and buckets over it. I love my career and I love my coworkers--most of all I love my babies (most of you know that I am a neonatal nurse practitioner). I have worked the entire time--since I was first diagnosed in 1987 and have felt that I would never stop. When I began to have mets symptoms in 2005 (ribs and lung), I was still able to work until this year.
But it is not fair to my coworkers, my babies or myself to work in my present health. The liver mets and chemo have really hit me (like a mack truck). It made me cry even harder that both work and SS approved my disability right away--what they think I'm sick?! Lol.
I had lunch this past week with a dear friend and coworker. We have worked together in the same field for 29 years. We both cried, but she told me to ENJOY my leave. That was a concept I had not considered--I was too busy being down about the decision and its implications.
Well, I am going to try. My older sister is coming from Seattle to visit me in November. My little sister is coming from San Diego with my 21 yr old nephew in December. We will have fun even if we just hang out together! I am determined to enjoy this forced rest and to move forward with my life!
I hate sharing cruddy news, but I know that it is part of my journey. Thank you for all of the support.