That’s what the hubby says and it’s kept him on track all these years (even though he doesn’t do anything slow at all).
I had my usual doc visit + chemo on Valentine’s Day, with my oncologist running so late that I only got a 7- minute visit before being dragged off to infusion before closing time. This was also my latest CT scan review.
He said he was “concerned—not apprehensive and not fearful, but concerned”. Something about my body being made up kind of weird, not quite right, but he can’t figure it out. I started the study (clinical trial) on Thanksgiving, and patience isn’t his strong point—things are receding, but for my age and health, we should be seeing larger results, faster. He thinks I’m receiving the placebo instead of the study drug, due to my lack of side effects. He’s ancy and will unblind the study the minute anything starts happening. But we have to squeeze every drop out of this treatment right now. That was his 7-minute assessment.
During the infusion, the clinical trial nurse came over and gave me another perspective. She explained that the large tumor (lung) had decreased by .4 cm and the bone lesions were more sclerotic (healing, scar tissue). The way the radiology report was written indicated a greater number, which prompted her to call. The radiologist said there were no new lesions, but that more of the lesions were sclerotic.
That said, she remarked that statistically I was doing far and away much better than any expectations (especially if I was receiving the placebo rather than the study drug), and the key seemed to be having fun.
So, I’m supposed to have more fun…hang out with friends, laugh, go to museums and concerts, get massages, sleep in, and not worry about the thousand and one things I worry about, like work, money, my aging parents. I’m thankful for every bit of fun I’ve managed since my diagnosis, but it’s definitely on borrowed time.
I am relieved, buoyed by yet another “stable” scan. I’m trying to be more diligent about exercise and guided imagery, meditation and diet (I’ve gained 14 pounds in 2 months—that can’t be normal). I have something like a rash on my scalp, so I’m not entirely convinced I’ve been taking sugar pills since Thanksgiving. But even so, I want to believe in the mind’s power to heal. It’s the final frontier, and I’ve read many accounts of incurable patients going into remission. It doesn’t happen overnight, but if my tumor shrank by .4 cm/6 weeks, I may be well in a year and a half. I’ll take even more modest progress, if it means I’ll live that much longer…heck, I want to grow old!
Of course it’s not that simple, but simple goals are best: shrinkage of main tumor and good quality of life. I would be content with success in those two areas. To that end, I’ve been encouraged to join a gym and push my exercise limits (the physical therapist says it’ll take care of the pain/insomnia/weight gain issues). Now if I could just address the thinning hair (ironic that I, previously of the big-hair contingent, should say that) and the vanity issues, which I can’t believe are plaguing me at this juncture. It’s a media disease, I’m certain.
I received jewelry for Valentine’s Day, for the first time ever. Even though it’s a “Hallmark Holiday”, it’s nice to exchange vows of love in a formal way. In years past we paid it no mind, and Mike absolutely loathes cards, so we don’t use that gesture. We are exactly opposite—I’m relatively unmaterialistic and love a written sentiment, and he likes stuff—Swedish fish and good candy, small expensive gadgets, large expensive boats, expensive hobbies, expensive…Hmm. Well, he might have to “settle” for his wife living longer for some holidays to come 😉
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