Hi there- Just an update on the first decent test or exam in a year, so I bought an obnoxious purple and pink Minnie Mouse birthday cake/single layer to celebrate yesterday.
To refresh...May 2006, you have a mass...or two or three: Dx, 5-7 months if they cannot do surgery. Yes to surgery and Dx'd at Stage IV, T2, N1,M1, Fuhrman III-!V. In the pans were the right kidney, left half of liver, a set of nodes, gall bladder, and several slices of the right lobe of liver. Node recurrence in 2007-surgery. Node recurrence in 2008-surgery.
Thought I was moving along well by 4 1/2 years, when they found enlargements in the thyroid-went thru a series of tests, up to and including biopsy. Dx. benign growths.
Then I started 2014 with a bang. Had a yearly CT and a polyp was observed in my stomach. My internist decided to do both "sides"...and removed 1 stomach polyp and 3 colon polyps. Different tools, guys.
Then I came down with a respiratory problem and had to go thru a series of tests. No bronchitis but was put on an asthma inhaler and over the counter nasal sprays as needed.
Next was Vertigo. When I nearly fell off a toiled in a rest room, I knew it was time to call someone. Had to have a simplel physical therapy procedure done that shifted the "ear stones" so they weren't causing the vertigo.
Through all this, I was caregiving my mom-in-law during her final days with pancreatic cancer. I wore myself out physically, mentally land emotionally and ended up in a very deep depression. More drugs, more sleep, more cutting back on lots of stuff and the improvements are still coming along.
Next was the annual mammogram. Oh, by the way we need to re-do one side; there's something there. Two weeks later, I had the re-take and went into the next room for an Ultrasound. It may be a cyst? But we'll schedule for a full diagnostic in another 6 months.
Christmas came an went and did pretty well without having me this year.
So that brings us to yesterday. 25 pounds lighter, BP down to 112/72 and I was scheduled for a Chest x-ray and abd/pelvic Ultrasound in 4 months prior to seeing my oncologist the following week. The progress is that he's moving my appointments from every 3 mo to every 4 months. I asked him, "where do we go from here considering the original 5-7 months death sentence?"
He answered, that, "any oncologist I would have seen in 2006 would have given me the same type of answer;" and "considering the category I fell into, it was difficult to predict the future."
So, I put my blinders on and decided that this is good news. While waiting for the lab tech to come draw my blood, I picked up a new mag on the table. It listed treatements and facilities, for the common types of cancer. Guess what? Kidney Cancer is not on the list. Does that mean we're super special and uncommon because we have kidney cancer?
Then it was a trip to the grocery store for my cake and the rest of dinner, plus other items. When I filled a bag with medium sized Russett potatoes, my thoughts were that my primary tumor was larger than those babies..12.5x11.5x8.5 cm. Oh, and the grapes were the size of the lymph nodes that were removed.
Yesterday was my party, and my husband is taking me out to dinner tonight so we can celebrate again. I'm hoping that the start of 2015 is a prelude to better things for me, and in turn, for all of us. No one said everything would be easy. We have cancer, we deal with what else is thrown at us, and try to find the many reasons to laugh at what is happening, sometimes even while crying.
I wrote this while I was waiting for paint to dry. My bookkeeper is on vacation and I'm re-painting her side of the office. One of the benefits of owning a business is that you get to do lots of weird things to help save money on the bottom line.
Here's to a better 2015. Hugs to all.
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