Update – November 3, 2022

Winter has given us a sneak peak today. First measurable snow of the season.

I had monthly appointments this week. My CT and bone scans were the same as August. This means STABLE MABLE is back. 🙌

My enthusiasm is tempered a bit by a cranky hip.

My back pain is gone for now, and I’m having trouble walking due to hip pain. So much so that my oncologist ordered an MRI, which I had today. I’m hoping it gives me some answers.

The hip pain means my daily walks have ceased – for now.

Fingers crossed the MRI shine a light on the problem.

Onward!

~~~~~~~~

Current meds (2nd line of treatment): 
* Ibrance, 125 mg (oral meds)
* Fluvestrant (monthly shots)
* Lupron (monthly shot)
* Zometa (quarterly infustion)

Gratitude – November 25, 2021

Time marches on and today is the Thanksgiving holiday. As I sit here with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade on, silent in the background and a bright blue sky with frost on the grass, I’m thinking about all the things to do today. And I’m grateful for all those things. I feel “fine” and have the energy to bake pies and help Glen grill a turkey and make a last minute run to the grocery store. Most of that will happen this morning while our teens sleep.

I’m grateful for science too because I have science to thank for this. My doctor appointment last week was “uneventful” largely because the medication to keep my cancer from progressing seems to be (mostly) working. My blood work looked fine and my CA 27-29 tumor marker was steady from last month.

At the appointment we talked a lot about what my scans from last month showed. An enlarged lymph node and a small new nodule in my lung. I remembered that I got my COVID booster 3 days before my scan and the enlarged lymph node was on the side where my shot was. We all think (and hope) that is the reason for that. The lung nodule – who knows?

A friend asked me how I’m doing with so much uncertainty. I believe there are two ways to approach this. I can panic and fret about if the spot in my lung is cancer. I don’t think that is a good choice of energy. I cannot do a single thing about this lung nodule and won’t know more until after I have scans in January. So, I spend the time until then soaking up life and doing things that are meaningful to me.

I’m choosing to live in each moment as much as possible.

I’m trying to read more books, go on daily walks outside and celebrate milestones. Maddy turned 15 earlier this month. Her Golden Birthday (15 on the 15th). We had a birthday weekend celebration that included a movie, dinner, a surprise party and two cakes.

The birthday girl.
Birthday dinner.

Evelyn got her senior pictures and is busy applying for college. She’s interested engineering. We see less and less of her as she and her friends do more and more together (thanks to vaccinations!).

Our lovely Evelyn.

Glen and I are enjoying being “office mates” and continue to find time for walking and cooking and are experiencing more and more empty nester moments as we find ourselves home alone.

I hope you all have a relaxing holiday and find the time to do things that are meaningful to you.

~~~~~~~~

Current medications: Ibrance, Anastrazole, Lupron and quarterly Zometa infusions. CT and bone scans again in January.

February 4, 2021

Dear Friends and Family –

A few years ago Evelyn did a project for school where she made a calendar. Each day of the calendar was a different “national” day. National donut day (June 4), national chocolate day (November 11), my personal favorite – national wine day (May 25). I’m writing this on February 4, World Cancer Day. Not even national cancer day – WORLD cancer day. Who knew this existed? Not me. Now you do. Take this opportunity to enlighten others about cancer, donate to cancer research (if you have the means), or reach out to someone you know impacted by cancer. (Sadly the list for that last one is probably substantial).

Today I had my monthly treatment and medical visits. These are every 28 days (Thursday afternoons) and fortunately are relatively short and usually pain free. I typically wait to write until I get all my blood work back, which takes up to 72 hours. It seemed fitting to write today though.

I’m still taking the same medication and on the same treatment plan as when I was diagnosed in July 2019. Earlier this week I started cycle 21 of my medication. (We count the time I’m on this medication by the 28-day cycle of the meds.) I’m still taking Ibrance (you’ve probably seen commercials for it on television) and Anastrozole. Those are oral meds and I take them daily. Today I received a shot of Lupron and an infusion of Zometa. I have very few side effects from the medication. My treatment today was pretty uneventful, which is always good.

Lately I’ve been feeling fine. Some days I feel great! That’s the thing about Stage 4 cancer that is weird. I don’t physically feel bad. I’m not incapacitated. I worked this morning. I styled my hair today – I still have hair. I thought about how I didn’t want to exercise and did it anyway. Probably pretty similar to your day in many ways.

I’ll stay on this medication until it no longer keeps the cancer at bay. When will that happen? No one knows. Will I know when it is happening – will I feel it? Might feel exactly like I do right now, I might have some terrible pain, no one can say. How will we know if the medication has stopped working? When my scans show new cancer.

Speaking of which, I’m up again for scans – will have them just before my March appointment. I get them every 3 months. It feels a little bit like the movie Groundhog Day. A lot of repetition. I’m ok with that. In fact, I am grateful for it. It means nothing has changed and that’s the best we can hope for.

I hope those of you on the front lines of health care or enjoying your later years have received a vaccine or will get one soon. Until we all are vaccinated, Mask Up, social distance and stay safe.

Be well.