Thursday, February 28, 2013


The scan wasn't so hot.

Almost all of my little spots have grown just a tiny bit. They are still small, just centimters big, but it's the wrong direction. Damnitall, because this was supposed to be a really good, effective chemo. This is the first time something hasn't worked for me, and that fact has left me reeling a bit. Since diagnosis, we've always had this sucker more or less under control.

So, I met with the doc today to discuss options, and he is adding a new drug to the current chemo I'm taking. It's called Herbitux (sp?) and it makes the chemo work considerably better. I asked him if it makes the chemo work better, why wasn't I taking it before? He said, "Side effects." Oh great. I asked him what the side effects are. "Skin rash". What does that mean? "Severe acne, could be all over the face, or the body, too".  Oh, and "Diarrhea and water retention."


Thing is, I don't have a choice, do I. So, I get to spend the summer as a pizza face. With thin, lifeless hair. But that's all surface stuff, isn't it. I have to be the bigger, less vain person, and do what needs to be done. It just feels like after all I've been through, could you at least keep my looks intact? Please?

I'm still waiting to see what important life lessons I'm supposed to be learning from all this. None of this has changed my values, added perspective, or made me less of an asshole than I was in my former life. People have told me many times that that's what having cancer does for you. (Insert chuckles from Shelly here. They know EVERYTHING, don't they!) Ok, now I sound bitter. I'm not. Just sort of shaking my head over here.

I'll get scanned in two months and if this doesn't work, another option is to go back to the chemo I was on before, FOLFOX, because we don't know for sure that it stopped working (I had been on reduced doses due to surgery). Oh, and now I get to go in for chemo EVERY WEEK.


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Shelly, green and leafy once again

Things have looked up for me since my last grouchy post. Sure, my arm's still broken. And yes, I do have a big scan tomorrow (important b/c it's the first time we'll know if this new chemo is working for me). So I've got that + waiting for the results (my LEAST FAVORITE THING EVER) ahead of me.

But for some reason, my spirits have risen lately. I feel happy and light again. An abundance of warm, cozy experiences have surrounded me of late, and I am again reminded how sweet life is.

Three years ago, just after I was diagnosed, I met with a feng shui master, an elderly Chinese man about as tall as my ribcage. We spent hours together, and we are friends to this day. He brought me, among other things, a plant intended to bring me good energy. The plant lives simply in water, and in the days since I took over its care, it has thrived, easily doubling its height. However, in the time since we've moved to our new house, it was somehow left in a back corner. Then, for a month while we remodeled the kitchen, it lived in that frigid room. Just a week ago, Neil and I found it. We both gasped at its condition. The once abundant green leaves had turned crisp, yellow, and spotty. We moved the plant to our bedroom, and just tonight we pruned off the deadness. I noticed a lone shoot at the top, healthy and tall, just peeking out. Recovering. Bouncing back. I know it's crazy, but we both consider that plant to be a tabletop manifestation of my health. It's taken a kick in the shorts lately. But we're both coming back.

I honestly think this scan is going to bring good news.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Broken Wing

Ack! I broke my arm over the weekend. Yes. Yes. That happened. So.

Stupid ice skating crash, 0% of the fault being mine. If that counts for anything. So I am typing with one hand (INTOLERABLE), and this post shall be short. and full of typos.

Other things happening here this week: kids off school all week. i can't dress myself, open jars or doors, bathe normally, or... do much. but it turns out, i'm nonetheless using my gimpy arm as much as possible. also, i have an ulcer, which really sucks at times. Badly. Trust me on that one. my husband is sick with flu. got a friend recently diagnosed w/cancer. and--chemo tomorrow.

when it rains, it pours.

also, i have a scan next week.

looking at my recent track record, you could either say i'm doomed to get the suckiest results i've ever had,
i'm due for the best friggin news Swedish Hospital's PET/CT department has ever given a patient.

off to bed now, in my brand new king-sized bed.