Friday, October 10, 2008

Back from NYC

I just returned from NYC with good and bad news. First, the good news is that there is no current evidence of disease. So I am dancing with NED (no evidence of disease!)

The bad news is there are a few 'watch' areas on my lungs. They have not changed in size but there are more. They could be just normal blips that occur with allergies, surgeries, chemotherapy and daily living in the midwest. So I am hopeful and am going to believe that those watch areas are just that - occurance from daily living in the midwest.

There is additional news that could be interpreted as either good or bad. My survival prognosis has not changed. I am still looking at a high percentage of reoccurance and an average survival of five years. I am choosing to look at it differently -- I have survived three major surgeries, radiation and chemotherapy. I have beat the odds to date. Hot Damn!

Overall, it was a beautiful two days to visit NYC. They sky was blue and temperature perfect. Not a bad trip at all!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Going to NYC

I leave soon for Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. I will have CT scans and MRI's and blood tests and whatever they can throw at me. I am praying that they will find nothing. I think this is a certainty since I was tumor free before the chemo. If a tumor developed during chemo then the entire game has changed.
We are also going to meet with two oncologists. I need to have some hope since all the studies have shown that individuals in my situation live only an average of five years. And I have spent two fighting. That only gives me three statistically. A very small percentage live beyond five. I certainly am aiming for that small percentage. Unfortunately, there appears to be no specific indication of what gives you that advantage for the small percentage. Surgery, chemo, radiation -- there are no clear indications that any of those are more successful than others. Well, shit. So we are hoping that these well known onc's will have some clearer answers.
In the meantime I am eating the family out of house and home. First the steroids brought on a great hunger - and I mean great. Now it is just stress eating. At least I have lost the puffiness of the steroids. Now it's just down to fat.
Overall, I am doing OK. This was a difficult round of chemo. I am still exhausted all the time. Breathless with any exertion. I hope that will change as time takes me away from the last chemo round.
On the positive side, I have such great friends. Many brought meals these past several months. Thank goodness since cooking has been difficult. Two very good friends came last week to clean the house for me. What a blessing!
Despite the difficulty of this past year between open heart/lung surgery and four grueling rounds of chemo; stress of family and my own depression; I count myself a blessed individual. I wouldn't have made it this far if not for my family and friends!