Thursday, March 10, 2011

mixed. but good. i think.

And I'm not talking about the weather, which while it has been mixed, has been pretty consistently bad for the last twenty four hours. We had a big dump of snow (the photo above was taken from my front door), followed by freezing rain, which will be followed by ordinary rain.

Good thing I just bought rain boots.

My GP called me last week to let me know the results of my endoscopy (I won't get in to see the gastroenterologist until March 21st). All my results were negative - no celiac, no bacterial infection, no cancer. It's all good.

Then I talked to my oncologist on Friday. We discussed my scope results and my digestive symptoms (diarrhea, heartburn, abdominal pain). He expressed surprised that I was still feeling lousy on Friday after a Tuesday treatment. I told him that my recovery time had gone from four to six days and that last round, I'd felt sick for a week (this ended up being the case this time, too).

Then my oncologist said, "It's time to take a break."

I was floored.

I had been hoping to hear these words for months (years even) but when I finally did, I definitely had a mixed reaction. I'm being taken off the chemotherapy not because I've been in remission for a while (although I have) but because the chemo has started to take too big a toll on my body.

As Dr. G. said, "You can't stay on vinorelbine forever."

I'm going to continue with the Herceptin but take a break from the chemo for at least three months. Herceptin is also known to induce flu-like symptoms but I don't think it has the lasting toxicity of chemotherapy drugs. I'm likely to bounce back more quickly after treatments.

So we'll see what happens. There are no guarantees of anything and no promises. Every change involves risk.

But the next few months will be devoted to healing.

Cross-posted to Mothers With Cancer.


deb said...

Mixed congrats on your break! It's good to hear that you body will get to heal for a bit and that you will get to enjoy more days out of bed, feeling better. Will always send you loving, hopeful and healing vibes no matter the state of affairs!xo

Kaylen said...

Where did you find the beautiful boots? I've been looking for rain boots for years but had no luck finding ones that will fit over my calves.

laurie said...


And the boots are Kamik. I bought them here in town but you can get them from Zappos:
I was pretty obsessed about finding boots. These are a third the price of Hunter's. They are snug though. I took a full size larger and I'll half to roll my pants instead of tucking them!

zoom said...

I think I can understand the mixed feelings....especially since your oncologist has to go on gut feelings and accumulated wisdom, given that you're kind of an unprecedented patient. Make the most of your unexpected break...enjoy it, relax, heal. It's part of your treatment in a very real way.

Lene Andersen said...

Awesome boots! And awesome news!! Healing sounds so good.unnowdr

nancyspoint said...

I say enjoy the "time off" and try not to worry too much. I think your body will appreciate this time to heal a bit.

Eileen said...

Oh, I'm happy you are getting a break - I hope it helps you regain your strength and health!

I have to say, my 'chemo sickness' lasts a good week, too. Phoo to that '3-4 days' thing... oncologists must be incurable optimists, I think.

Love the boots - they make me think of spring. Let's hope they encourage the snow to give us a break!

JuliaR said...

Also, it's a great time for a break, with the Spring starting soon and maybe you can get some sun on your face and a bike ride in, now and then. I finished chemo in March and by the time I started radiation in April, I was well enough to bike to the Civic each day and just loved it, being outside in the Spring air.

Every single day is a joy and a blessing. Enjoy.

laurie said...

Thanks to much to each of you wonderful women. I will keep reminding myself of your shared experiences and wise advice.