Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Things are Looking Up!

Here’s the best news I’ve had in a while – after seeing my depressing previous blog post, two friends in California wanted to help so they have arranged a temporary nanny for a week and a half after next week’s final chemo session. They’ve just sent me Meaghan’s bio and she looks terrific. Hurrah! I’m very excited to be able to get daytime rest again! Thanks Sarah and Gwen!

The hot air balloon trip Colin and I took last week was fantastic. The weather and foliage was absolutely beautiful. We flew at sunset, 8 people squeezed into a wicker basket with very little wiggle room. We didn’t go as high as I expected – after a brief ascent to about 500 feet, we spent most of the time about 100 feet off the ground, and brushed tree tops several times. We brought Ethan back some leaves from the top of a tree, and he was thrilled. After flying for about an hour, we landed in someone’s backyard in the suburbs, and became the hit of the neighborhood children as we packed up. A few photos are posted, as well as (due to your requests, dear readers) a close up shot of my wig, and some recent ones of the kids, thanks to my parents who were here last week.

Strangely, I am actually looking forward to Chemo #12 on Monday. Because then I will be DONE FOREVER! Yeah! Even though I’ll be feeling crappy, it will be so nice to be on the other side of this huge milestone, knowing I’ll be getting better and better – at least until radiation.

Speaking of radiation. A few days after my first visit with the radiation oncologist, I went back to the department to get set up on the machine. They tattooed 5 blue dots onto me which they will use to position me in exactly the same place each time I go, and took a CT scan which the doctor and the physics department (!) will use to calculate exactly where they want the radiation beams to go. While I was there, the doctor unexpectedly asked to see me. She told me she’d talked to my medical oncologist and surgeon, and they were all concerned about me. This is not what I want my doctor to say. She said she was considering radiating a larger part of my chest than would normally be done, due to Chucky’s original size and fast growth and not reacting fully to my early stage chemo. Basically even though they don’t think it spread because my armpit lymph node was negative early on, there is also lymph that goes up (toward the throat) that she wants to radiate, just in case. This is controversial, as it goes beyond the standard of care and increases the risk of future arm swelling and some other yucky stuff, and my other two doctors had differing opinions on if it was necessary. She just presented my case at a tumor review board in order to have lots of doctors discuss me and try to get a consensus on what my treatment plan should be, though I haven’t heard back from her yet on how it went. So let’s recap here – I had extra chemo, extra surgery, and now am looking at extra radiation. I would really much prefer going to the doctor’s office and hearing “we know just what you have, exactly how to treat it, and we’re going to take care of it completely.” I’m a little tired of being special.


SarahB said...

Glad we could help Martha, enjoy the daytime rest ;)

Sparky said...

Nice ballooning pictures. I am so jealous of your fall foliage! Sorry about the radiation kerfluffle. Good thing we know you're tough. You survived being my little sister; you can survive anything. Go Martha!

Rachel said...

Those ballooning pictures are stunning! What a great outing! I'm so glad you got some help with the kids and can, uh, enjoy? the last round of chemo. So sorry about the doctors' concern. Yeesh. Beat it already, cancer!

Your kids are fabulous. I love seeing photos of them as they grow, although Ethan is entirely too big. Konrad will never get that tall if I have any say.

Anonymous said...

Marty, Let me know if you still need me to come. I have been MIA for a few months as we were moving, but have surfaced. Cuz Carrie