The fog is lifting

Fog is liftingIt would seem after five months of treatment the fog is beginning to lift a bit, perhaps I should be more cautious and just say loosen up a bit? This photo reminds me of the last few months. Step to the edge and just a fog stands out there, no firm answers as to where the water or trees start or end. That is very much how treatment has felt. No firm answer as to where the chemo, radiation, surgery begins or ends?

Answers and a solid treatment schedule moving forward directly impact my confidence as a cancer patient. I am so willing to “lift my feet” and go along for the treatment plan but I have to know where the plan is taking me. Last week (#11 of 16 total chemotherapy treatments), I met with Dr. G and laid on him a ridiculous flurry of questions. He seemed to feel my anxiety rising. So, he was kind enough to fast track some items. The last scan had showed no shrinkage? Yikes. That had been weighing on me. So, Dr. G ordered a CT for this week. We also looked at the calendar and made a plan to get into Madison for surgery as soon as we can following my last chemo (Oct. 6). Dr. G also felt I should get down there now and do my consult with the surgeon, the lovely Dr. W. We put together a timetable for radiation. It was glorious leaving his office having a plan.

The “glorious” part was halted as soon as I got in my “chair” for treatment. Ahh, but alas silver linings – my weekly pre-med Benadryl buzz wasn’t far behind. I’m sure my nurses have a good time giggling at my slurring, ridiculously buzzed antics!

So, this week’s chemo was yesterday and included a pre-treatment CT, which the results were read to me within the hour. And for the first time since May I heard some really good news, shrinkage! Yes, we see a little shrinkage, so the cancer is FINALLY responding to the chemotherapy. Hallelujah! I must insert a little disclaimer here – Dr. G was convinced all along the treatment was working and that my body was just delaying clearing the dead cancer cells. He went to the wall on this and felt strongly when he was sharing his thoughts on my case to the UW-Madison team. It was that very day that I heard the birthdate next to me in the chemo room 1-14-82, my brother Joe’s birthdate – that I knew I had made the right choice to stick with Dr. G for the course. Thanks Joe and Dr. G!

For me, it means it’s all worth it! The down days, the bald summer, the sick days, the sleepless nights. All worth it. And some guardian angel action with me as well. It’s strange how guilt and sheer elation can take hold of you all at once. There’s a part of me that wonders, “Why me? Why am I getting a chance to fight this thing when so many of my family members never had a chance?” And on the other hand I am elated that it is working! I am so lucky. How do I keep getting so lucky?

Blessed with lucky results, incredible support, encouraging friends and family all around and an incredible medical team always with me through every step. Thank you for the blessings all.

So for now, I am going to ride this luck out. Enjoy that the kids are back in school, football season is back and most importantly I am just going to “lift my feet”.

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