August 1, 2010

Well, another update. We finally got the PET Bone scan Friday, July 23. Dr. Smith called Wednesday with results. sigh……………It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t devastating. I’ll do my best to relate the sequence of events.

Let me preface by saying Dr. Smith and I both expected there to be more spots on the scan. That is the natural progression of the disease. However, when Dr. Smith called his comment was “it’s worse, and we need to talk face to face. We need to discuss what treatment options we’re going to follow.” Well, that’ll scare the bee jeebers out of you! I made the appointment for that Friday, called Mike to make sure he could go with me, and then waited for the news. I told a few key people what was going on, and then waited some more. (important side note–waiting is ALWAYS the hardest part)

I went on a wing and a prayer Friday morning and got my hair done (!), hoping I wasn’t doing something in vain. That’s a joke, everyone. a pitiful one, but a joke. ANYHOW, after an extremely cheery lunch and lots of laughs with a friend, I made my way to Graves Gilbert.

Dr. Smith came in and told us how surprised he was that the spots were as widespread as they were, since I don’t seem to have more symptoms. So we needed to really consider what we’re going to do about treatment. Then he said, the spots, though many, are small. And not symptomatic. And, though they’re only a tiny piece, the tumor markers actually have gone down. So after talking about things, we’re going to switch off the Faslodex and go back to Tamoxifen. I did 2 years of Tamoxifen 7 years ago, then switched to the Aromatase inhibitor treatment. Tamoxifen seemed to work OK, and had limited side effects for me, so that’s the option we chose. Besides, the Aromatase side effects were very painful, so I really didn’t want to do it if possible.

He did mention chemotherapy, but said he felt that was too radical at this stage. That’s OK by me, I have to say. I guess that’s a future option, but we don’t want to exhaust everything too soon in the game.

As I said, he was surprised by the test results, and mentioned that he and the radiologist had studied it a lot. It’s a very sensitive test, and picks up everything (a good thing). Mike and I did mention chest x-ray and any other scans, so he scheduled a CT Scan for Friday the 6th. And a chest x-ray. I’ll go back the next Friday (the 13th, whoopee) to get the results.

I guess you see a pattern here. I’m not working Fridays any more, so I’m scheduling my appointments for Fridays when possible.

I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on things the last couple of weeks. I’m still feeling good, and strong. It just makes me realize how important all of you are in our lives. The initial scare reminded us of 2 years ago, but we weathered that and came out stronger, and we’ll do it again.

The crazy thing about cancer is the unpredictable nature of it. Tuesday morning last week I actually woke up feeling better than I had in months. By that afternoon I was grabbing the pill bottle. something had triggered the pain problems. Then yesterday I didn’t have to take any pain meds at all, and very limited today. These things, coupled with the prayers everyone sends our way, are what give us good feelings.

We’re taking things one step at a time. As I say, it is what it is, and we will make the best of it. I’m blessed to have such a wonderful life, and I’m dancing in the rain!

Everyone add a friend in Kiwanis to your prayers: Danette Neel’s husband is going through a bad time right now with lymphoma. They are so young, and have a little one. He needs everyone’s thoughts and prayers. Also Phyllis Medlin, Elizabeth Honeycutt’s daughter, And continued prayers to Leslie Priest; and our sister, Dani. Also, pray for the caretakers–Dr. Smith and his staff, my good friends in radiology who are so caring and treat every patient with such dignity, and on and on. These are wonderful people who answer a calling.

Thank you, everyone. We love you all. I’ll post again in a couple of weeks when the results come in.

Meanwhile, everyone go out and do good. Send a card to someone at the hospital, drop off magazines at the nursing home, smile at someone who looks like they need cheering up. Remember, we all have some type of weight on our us. If everyone shoulders it together, it’s so much lighter. I know. You make our load like a feather!

Love to all, Anne