Goings-on at the start of chemo cycle 29

I got good news today at my oncologist’s office—my brain MRI yesterday turned up no new spots of cancer (in 4 months—my last MRI was June) and the ones zapped in May continue to cooperatively die and fade away.  So that is really great.  I don’t need more of that right now.  Too much else to deal with!

My left arm, upstream from the original blood clot in my brachiocephalic vein, has now developed some lymphedema so I have to go deal with that at the lymphedema clinic—not that it will ever go away.  Just more appointments and treatments and self-care regimens to incorporate into my days.  Hoping it won’t get any worse.

Also, the lung CT I had on the 12th to confirm the blood clots in my lungs also showed that my “lung spots” seen on the 9/11 chest CT are “grossly stable,” meaning that they basically didn’t change/grow in that intervening month.   That doesn’t mean that they aren’t new metastatic lesions, but at least if they are—which they probably are because they’re still there—they are slow-growing and still tiny.  Or the chemo is keeping them in check right now, even though they showed up despite chemo.  (That would hint that they are resistant to this chemo.)

And I got two hugs from my oncologist.  He called me “sweetheart” and I let him.  🙂  He has such energy and is so willing to meet me where I’m at that seeing him (which I do every 3 weeks, at the start of a new chemo cycle) is always a positive part of the day, even when the news is not good.  I am lucky to have him on my team.  I am very picky about my doctors and how they relate to me (and Eric): how willing they are to answer my many questions, how comfortable they are answering them in pretty science-y detail, how much choice they give me vs. how much direction.  Whether they look us in the eye.  Whether they laugh at my jokes.  And how I feel after spending time with them in an exam room.  I have known my oncologist since 2006, when my breast surgeon said, “You will definitely like him” and was oh so right.  He is my age, within a year or so, and has a quick mind and a good sense of humor.  Such luck!

We reduced my chemo dose too, because of my increasingly numb/painful left foot.  It is weird that I have such serious neuropathy in one foot only–usually chemo-induced neuropathy is more symmetrical.  But it is what it is–I just feel lucky that it’s only one foot.

Sometimes I wonder where my time goes.  Why am I not doing more “work”?  And then as I apply the TENS unit to my numb foot, negotiate with the insurance company about covering my pain cream for another month, make a lymphedema clinic appointment, and remember that I had chemo this morning before that trip to shop at the food co-op and the nap, I kinda vaguely see the problem…

One thought on “Goings-on at the start of chemo cycle 29

  1. Shelly

    Where does your time go? It goes to work, of course–and in your case, your job is now your cancer management. Which I guess is like indentured servitude or slavery. I’m glad you have such a great team of doctors. That kind of support is necessary on so many levels. Especially given the slavemaster you have to answer to. Congratulations on no new brain mets and on some stability in your lung spots. Good for you to get some good news while you toil on. I hope you have some good books to escape into.

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