Round 2

Brief Background

The sleeping communist cancer cells in the cervical tumor woke up earlier this year and spread to my lungs also.  We discovered it when I couldn’t go to the bathroom “normally” for me.  It was, in short, a mess.  I have been using intermittent catheters ever since, because the communist tumor has wrapped itself around my bladder. However comma I was shortly put back into chemo therapy using the same cocktail as first time around as it had been 14 months since my last treatment back in February of 2013.   Treatment commenced in April of this year.

The aforementioned cancer cell killing cocktail consisted of Paclitaxel + Carboplatin.  Higher doses than last time (going for the hard punch in the nose).  Unfortunately, during the second treatment in June, I exhibited pretty serious reaction to the carboplatin.  According to my husband person, my entire head suddenly turned the color of a “rock lobster” and hives broke out on my arms.  Good grief.  Well, that was gotten under control and I went home as normal.

Current Situation

The third treatment in July consisted of the usual anti-nausea bag, anti-allergic bag (which puts me to sleep) and the Paclitaxel.  A cat-scan was done a couple of days prior to my fourth treatment earlier this month.

Unfortunately, the level of kill was not as hoped.  While the goobers on my lungs shrunk pretty darned well, the cervical tumor only had a small kill rate.  I am sure that wasn’t a total surprise to the Oncologist, but it wasn’t music to my ears.  That said, I should have suspected as I was still needing to cath 3 times a day, sometimes 4.

The Onc talked with us for a time and received a phone call during our visit.  He had mentioned some “older drugs” he might like to try to knock this down again.  Among the potential side-effects was dementia-like effect on my brain which could be permanent.  Ewww.  Then again, without treatment I will die sooner than later.  Now after the Onc left the room to take that call, I asked my husband person,  “why hasn’t he mentioned radiation?”

So when the Doc came back in I asked him, “what about radiation?”  Well his face lit up and we discussed the issue and an appointment was set for this Wednesday (July 16th) with a radiologist with whom this Onc works frequently.  We are leaving this appointment and outcome in the Lord’s hands.

Either way, I will be taking a ‘oral chemo’ pill and the Doc is thinking that will take care of the goobers on my lungs.  Yea.

Lessons Learned

I have learned two very valuable lessons during this time.  First, I am not only ‘suck in my ways,’ I don’t know how to ‘go with the flow’ and alter my thinking very well.  Not a total surprise as I had no children (who are, according to parents I talk with are fabulous “go with the flow” teachers).  So I need to be willing to alter my thinking as a matter of course.

The second lesson I learned was more profound for yours truly.  During our meeting with the Onc, I made the following statement, ‘without the chemo therapy, even if taking the oral (not expected to really affect the main tumor), this is going to grow like crazy again and I could die next week.’  Ok, a little drastic (ok, a lot), but that was my thinking at the moment.

The Doc’s reply astonished me for a time.  His said, “right now there is nothing life threatening.  None of your organs are in danger at this time.”  WOW !

After munging on this for some time, I came to the following realization — I have a chronic condition.  Now you may be thinking, yea, so what?  The so what for me is that there are hundreds of thousands of people living with chronic conditions.  Many of those conditions can very well lead to early death.

The word “cancer” is just a word to describe the type of chronic condition I have and need to live with.  And what has that done for me?  It has rid me of the deep-seeded fear I have of the word/condition “cancer.”  I am now more in control as I can approach things with objectively, having been released from the “fear” of cancer.  I am better equipped to “go with the flow.”

 

I Are Here

And Every Day is a Holiday!!

I Are Here

 

 

 

 

 


31 Comments on “Round 2”

  1. CW says:

    Well that sounds like a very valuable lesson indeed, Mrs. AL! I’m so glad you are released of the terrible fear of your cancer. I’m sure there are many more people who would love to be given that freedom. I’ve learned a lesson too (or at least I am trying to), which is that none of us knows what’s ahead so we should all be celebrating each day as if it’s a holiday and not wait until there’s scary news on the horizon.

    Thanks for sharing this chapter of your story. Hope you have a great day!

    • Mrs. AL says:

      And isn’t it lovely that we are able to continue to learn and grow even as we age, CW? What a blessing indeed !

      I will have a grand little day and you enjoy yours to the fullest as well …

  2. thedrpete says:

    My takeaway — lesson? — is that fear is relative. Response to a condition is subjective, fear more, fear less, in my case fear not at all. Why add fear to fate?

    • Mrs. AL says:

      I must say, DrPete, I am still kind of munging on your response. What needs to be remembered is that I am just now getting used to thinking this new way. Golly, it was only last year that I got a real handle on ridding myself of the constant “what if thinking” that dominated my life for over 5 decades — haha.

  3. peppermintfarm says:

    I’m glad to see you posting Mrs. Al. We all learn valuable lessons throughout our lives and we learn from you as well. From what you write I see you have come to an acceptance state of mind. You are no longer afraid of your condition and realize you are in a fight every day. You are so strong. And like you we learn something new all the time whether we have a condition or not. In a way I like getting older because I appreciate so much more those things that are so important to us.

    Those of us in the hills of KY say this every day, “I feel happy every day I wake up on the right side of the dirt”. You are right, that every day we are alive needs to be treated like a holiday because that is what God is giving us, one more day to celebrate life and to remember all the good friends and family we have. Telling them we love them every day is what I like to do too.

    Yes, it is true that having children makes us more flexible and more conducive “to going with the flow”. But, other things can make us be more flexible too and I think your condition is what is making you do that. I see you can find something positive about fighting your illness. You are truly amazing.

    My thoughts and prayers are always with you as you know.

    love ya,
    Pepp

    • Mrs. AL says:

      And I love ya’ back, Pepp. Thanx so much for sharing your experiences/lessons with us all. You know all too well that there are certain events in life that “ain’t easy.”

      And just in case I never shared it, “Every day is a holiday” is what I heard from my husband person from the time I met him. I always intellectually understood the words, but now I understand the underlying meaning.

      Thanx for the welcome back to posting, Pepp. I am working on a post for my ‘political side’ now.

  4. drrik says:

    6 months ago< I rounded a corner in the left hand lane of the interstate to come upon a wreck blocking my lane. 4 feet of curb on the left and speed limit traffic on the right. Looked in the mirror to see a big Ford dualie bearing down from behind at 70+ and no where to run to and not enough space for him to stop when he noticed me. He slammed the brakes and yanked the wheel and slid sideways, pirouetting around me, taking out three cars beside him and then crashing sidways and backwards into the car in front of me, leaving me with pounding heart and blood sounds roaring in my ears and and incredualty that I had been unscathed.
    Every day is a gift.
    Most are not blessed with reminders of it.

    • thedrpete says:

      Years ago, drrik, on an early winter morning on I-71 in northern Ohio I was crossing a bridge over and almost 300 feet above, I think, the Miami River. Construction had just one span operational, so two-way traffic on the two lanes. I had a semi pass me and its wind tunnel spun me out in my little sports car.

      I did a 360, saw an oncoming semi, let the car spin a bit more, then reversed the steering wheel to slow the spin, remained in my lane long enough for the truck to pass, then crossed spinning to hit the bridge abutment on the other side a second time. When I finally got the car stopped, I drove it slowly off the bridge, pulled right to the roadside, stopped, then shook like a leaf for minutes, bug-eyed and white-knuckled. Car totalled, I unscathed.

      You lose some . . . and win some.

    • Mrs. AL says:

      Drrik, you are sooo right. EVERY DAY IS A GIFT. Thanx so much for sharing your experience! Good to see ya, trust all is well at your end of the universe.

  5. tannngl says:

    Trials. All of the negatives of this world, when they hit make us realize the truth of our situation. None of us will excape alive. (Unless the Lord returns for us first!)

    I think we go about our lives with this delusion of safety and security.
    (‘delusion’—false belief: a persistent false belief held in the face of strong contradictory evidence)

    It is a gift to see through this delusion and learn to live in the now. Being thankful for all we have, now. None of it will last.
    I’ve noticed that many who are stricken with horrible disease, some chronic, some acute, or loss of function are the most profoundly joyful, positive people. Remember Joni Ericson? She broke her neck and has been paralyzed from the neck down and has gone through breast cancer, I think. How to you keep your joy throughtout that? She has.

    I had a rotten day today, irritable, temperamental, pretty hard to stand myself even. But your post makes me stop and consider our lives and why we’re here.

    Go with the flow. That says a lot of it.

    Thanks, sister.

    • Mrs. AL says:

      Oh tannngl, thanks to you. Sharing as you have has lifted me up, Sister. And indeed, I do remember Joni Ericson. (If memory serves, isn’t he married name Tada?)

      As for the rotten day, happens to everyone and that’s part of being a humanoid. I am trying to talk my husband person into writing a post about the three additional personalities that came out to play during the chemo treatments this time. One of those personalities was ‘crazy Aunt Edna.’ Maybe you just had a CAE day. 🙂

      • tannngl says:

        Yes, married name is Tada. Memory sometimes won’t work, much like my fingers when typing…

        Glad this lifted you some.
        Maybe that day CAE entered my body. She’s gone and hasn’t been back but I don’t remember ever watching my behavior like that and thinking: wow! is that me?

  6. Jesse Norman says:

    It’s good to be open about these sort of things. It helps with the coping. I will be praying for you that this cancer is removed from your body, although it won’t leave your life. Such things will leave an indelible mark on one’s life, and most of the time for the better. These things make you focus on the basics. They can also help a person strengthen their relationship with God. No matter what happens, just remember that life is temporary, but existence is eternal. God bless!

    • Mrs. AL says:

      And thank you for the eternal reminders, Jesse. You know something about coping and such, eh? How good it is to remember that “existence is eternal.” How cool is that !

      Good to see you. Trust things are well with you,

  7. Gar Swaffar says:

    You sound on track for more teachable moments. The revelation of what a chronic condition happens to describe can be life altering in the near term and also long term. May have to start calling you “Mrs AL The Revelator”

    • Mrs. AL says:

      I muchly appreciate your comment, Gar. As I often have to confess, I am a stubborn person. Now that is positive in certain instances, and a real negative in other contexts. The Lord has always had to use a 2 x 4 upside the head on yours truly. What a blessing that I am learning to learn, eh?

      Trust things in your corner of the globe are going well these days.

  8. Kathy says:

    I delayed coming here because I knew you guys would make my cry. Not so much out of sadness, but out of pride. It gives me tremendous pride to know I have such strong people in my life. You may not actually be in my ‘business’ but you are a part of it and an influence none the less.

    Mrs. AL, you have more strength in your little finger than I think I have in my whole body, as does Pepp. You guys manage to carry on every day and I’m not sure I could do the same were I in your position.

    There will be good days and bad days, and we hope the good outweigh the bad and we beat the commies in the end. Onward and upward, right?

    • Mrs. AL says:

      You betcha, Kathy ! Onward and upward is a great way to say it. And if you don’t mind me disagreeing with you … you would be just as strong. Indeed there are good days and bad days. But Every Day is a Holiday and I work to focus on the Lord and not the circumstance. Besides, you didn’t seem me in September of 2012 when this was all first discovered. My husband person had to bust my chops a couple times in order to teach me how to fight. Wasn’t pretty, but it worked.

      Thanx so much for stopping by. I am going to post again after I start radiation today. Should be interesting – haha

  9. Grey Neely says:

    Stay loose Mrs. AL! God never gives us more than we can handle. This I know as a FACT from my own life. And remember you are in my family’s prayers.

    • Mrs. AL says:

      Oh I’m loose alright, Grey. Diarrhea – 🙂 Actually, it hasn’t started, but is very common with the oral chemo pills I am taking.

      What you said is very interesting. My Mom told my Dad when I was born that the Lord would not give them more than they could handle. I had a condition that usually led to a newborn’s death.

      Your family’s prayers are appreciated by my husband person and me, Grey. Please thank them for me.

      Finally, you are clearly a strong humanoid. A role model, if you will. It’s always good to know folks (yes, even in the blogosphere) who have faced difficult circumstances. Thank you.

  10. AfterShock says:

    I’m sorry Mrs Al that I haven’t been here for too long. It is so hard to hear this, but I know it is even harder for you to get through. I suspect I’m about to learn more about life from you than I ever thought I knew in my entire life. I am suddenly learning God bless you.

  11. Tim Apel says:

    Mrs. AL…I have been unforgivably remiss in visiting…I am truly sorry. But, I enjoyed catching up. Especially getting your unique insights about chemo farts. Just when I thought I knew it all. But more…the always polite and articulate, well mannered southernese you afforded everyone that stopped by. There seems to be a large deficit of that charm today, and you have it in spades.

    I am praying for you Mrs. AL. All that I can muster from across the pond.

    Ciao…

    Tim Apel

  12. AfterShock says:

    I had to cry today Mrs Al. So odd, I’ve never met you but I have a memory of you that surpasses understanding, and now I’m feeling the pain of missing you. You’ve taught me more with grace, by your ongoing quest to learn, than I would ever have discovered of my own inquiry. I’ve been told your remaining time with us is very short. You should know that your time on this earth has been well spent. You have been a subtle teacher, a loving teacher, and I believe GOD is rewarding you as you pass from this often abysmal world, into paradise. From my heart, Mrs. Al, may I say, eternally, — I Love You.

    AfterShock a.k.a. Rick Kallevig.

  13. peppermintfarm says:

    Diane, and to her husband,

    I am crying just having learned you are in Hospice and I can’t stand the thought of never hearing from you again. I enjoyed our friendship and emails we shared so much. I miss them and you so much.

    You’ve been a shining light for all of us. You have fought a huge battle never giving up, always optimistic, never complaining, and sharing your experiences with us in such a funny manner. Only you could do this. Only you could teach us so much. You have been a great inspiration to me.

    I know that God has many rewards for you in Heaven and that you will have a special place in His heart.
    You have had a special place in my heart on this earth. You gave me so much.

    I love you, too, as Aftershock said, eternally.

    And to Diane’s husband, may I send my love to you too as you are in this dark place right now. I know you have been so good to Diane throughout this battle, always giving, always there for her with your support and love.

    Love,
    Peppermint

  14. drrik says:

    Life is always fatal. The present is all we have. So many people go their whole life without ever discovering the necessity of living just there.
    Prayers your way.

  15. AfterShock says:

    We all miss you Mrs. Al. As your body is resting peacefully — awaiting final resurrection — your spirit continues to soar among us, and your soul is with GOD.

  16. Hardnox says:

    Rest in peace dear friend. We miss you. See you on the other side.

  17. myfoxmystere says:

    Diane,

    I’ll keep remembering you, as there is a void at Hardnox & Friends with you now in heaven. We’ll anticipate hanging out with you when our times come. I always enjoyed your replies on my blog Mystere’s Moonbat Spanker. Al, if you’re still doing God’s work here, I hope you’re doing well.


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