Gotta keep on keepin' on.......

Cancer again...that's 3 times in 2 years. This time it’s not breast cancer, but a new one called squamous cell carcinoma. New cancer, same old fighting spirit! My blog is still named for one of many songs that kept me going the first time around. Driving home from an upsetting appointment, I turned on the radio just as this line from Steve Miller Band's Jet Airliner was playing: "I've got to keep on keepin' on" I did just that. And I'll do it again.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

great news at last

Hello again, sorry I've been so absent. Been busy feeling tired and achy, and John has been working from home a lot so he can be available to cart me around to appointments, so the study (and computer) is tied up all the time. So even if I felt like blogging, I couldn't get online.

I have a number of updates for you. Our biggest piece of good news: the tumor has shrunk!!!! According to the CT scan I had about 3 weeks ago, the tumor went from over 6cm to about 1.5cm, with no sign of it elsewhere (in the chest at least). John and I were thrilled when the oncologist shared the report with us.

I don't know what this means for the rest of my treatment. (Will I do more chemo? Is it small enough and in a good spot to operate?) We haven't had that conversation. My original treatment plan has one more chemo in store for was supposed to be the 10th but they wouldn't let me through because I was running a fever. I also have a PET scan coming up on the 24th, and that will tell us a great deal more about the mass that's left.....whether it's dead cells or what, whether it's elsewhere, if there are any scattered cells, etc.

Meanwhile, at my March 10th appointment, I breezed in thinking I'd be having my last chemo and was floored to learn that I had a fever. I was allowed back to the infusion room only for bloodwork. (They drew blood from my port, which I think is really gross! Stuff should go in, not out.) But anyway, that bloodwork showed no sign of infection, just that I am anemic. So they gave me a $2000 shot of something to help with that, and I'm on iron pills. I went back that Friday for more bloodwork and if that is also clear, then I should be OK for chemo on the 17th.

Honestly, I didn't mind the delay. I had been really tired for weeks, and was glad to learn that there was a treatable reason (yay, anemia) for it! That shot they gave me made me achy, and I actually felt worse this week than had I done chemo! But it's all for the greater good, so I'm fine with it.

My hair is going, in big chunks. I had Kelly give me a supershort 'do 2 weeks ago, not a buzz cut but pretty close. A few days later, hairs started falling out left and right. I'd find them everywhere, on my clothes, in my food, in my water cup! So now I have a fun science experiment. I actually look forward to my morning shower so I can shampoo some more hairs off my head. Now it is so sparse that I have to wear a baseball cap so I don't scare the children, and probably in a day or two I will have to break out the wigs. That's OK. Just wanted to keep you posted on the hair thing. I don't remember if I shared the story about how I found my new wig. That's something for later. But here's a hint: Good-bye Audrey-Angelina, hello Toni (or Bambi or Collette, haven't decided!) Delores the ponytail is still in the running, don't worry!

I guess that's enough update for one day. I will try to post more faithfully. Right now the plan is to rest and get my strength back and be all perky for March 17th chemo!