August 13, 2010

Before I begin my report about myself, I have to give a report on some things that have been on my mind and heart this week. This week’s program at Kiwanis was Riley Miller, a beautiful 16 year old young lady who has worked with Alex’s Lemonade Stand here in BG for the last several years. Riley lost 2 little brothers to childhood cancer, and together with her parents, she started the local Alex’s Lemonade Stand. I am so inspired by this family. Her parents endured so much heartache, and yet have turned their tragedy into a story of incredible triumph and inspiration. Now they have 3 beautiful children, yet they continue their mission of eradicating childhood cancer. What wonderful people, role models for adults and youth everywhere.

NOW for the “rest of the story.” Today was report day. Mike and I dutifully reported back to the clinic for the results of the CT Scan and the chest X-Ray. All week I had been telling myself that if the news was bad, Dr. Smith would have called me and said “get yourself in here. We need to talk.” OK, that’s the rational Anne. Of course, we all know the little voice inside (the one we should rarely listen to) was going, but, um……………………… have an appointment. He may wait.

OK, little voice, take this: kapow! Dr. Smith walked in smiling. First good thing. Then he went on to say the chest x-ray was perfect. There is a little spot on the lower right lobe of the liver. But it was there 2 years ago, too, and there is no change. They don’t even know that it has anything at all to do with the cancer. It could be scar, it could be fatty tissue (hmmmm, imagine THAT, skinny friends), it could be nothing. Anyway, it is a good report. SO, we advance with the tamoxifin treatments, and I’ll go back in 3 months for a check up with him. Meanwhile I have a wellness check up and mammogram with Dr. Reed in the next couple of weeks.

The side effects of tamoxifen can be uterine cancer (not an issue in my case :-}), hot flashes, and blood clots. OK, I have the hot flashes with faslodex, didn’t have them previousy with tamoxifen. Maybe they’ll go away??? One can hope. The sudden power surges are absolutely NO fun for me or anyone observing.

I will have to keep the legs more active. Which may be easier, because the faslodex caused fatigue. I may walk a lot slower than I used to due to the back pain, but I will be walking more. It’s part of the treatment plan.

We feel better tonight, back on the “management” plan. I’ve had lots of time for reflection the last several weeks. It’s been a good thing. I’ve re-evaluated some priorities, and I let “things” go easier. Drama is hardly the issue it once was. I love my friends, and I know how important you all are.

While we feel better, I have to admit it’s been an extreme roller coaster ride, emotionally. There are some things I should probably do, and a convention I should probably attend. I’m going to take a break for a while. I know my compatriots in Kiwanis will do a great job representing us there, and other folks will handle things well. I received a card from church that said sometimes you just need to sit back and do nothing for a while. Well, I think we might do that. Just breathing deeply for a while………..

While I’m at it, I have to continue to give kudos to the caregivers. My caregiver–Mike–has also had a very hard couple of weeks. What would we do without these compassionate friends, family members, and health care workers? It’s easy to condemn the system, but the workers are all doing the best they can. I admire their work every day.

My wish for everyone is that you see what’s important in your lives. Live for your loved ones and let the little things take care of themselves. Don’t forget to love the ones you’re with! Cherish the moments. And share the good times with your friends.

Blessings to you all. Good wishes to Phyllis, Leslie, Aaron.

Anne & Mike