Monday, February 6, 2012

How many long days?????

Due to the unpleasant and painfully honest nature of my posts I would like to share two extraordinary positive facts about my cancer experience today. I had a very knowledgeable doctor congratulate me on effectively eradicating ovarian cancer from my life. Apparently I am one lucky lady to have "caught" that cancer in time so as not to worry about a relapse. Thank you breast cancer I would never had found that mass on my ovaries if it wasn't for you! The next dose of positive new came in the form of a voice mail when I got home Dr. Boresh's office called brain MRI was all grey matter jokes here please as cancer is a very serious business. I am relieved why? In my ordinary mind it feels like less is better. I have all this pain in my neck the last thing I need is a tumor in my brain messing with my cognitive ability. So that is the good news portion of this blog please enjoy and read no further if you don't want to here some of the less then pleasant details.

It was yet ANOTHER day of TEARS. How is my body able to support all this damn crying? We left p-town around 7:30 ish. I needed to be in Tucson at 12:30. The 1st set of tears started rolling around 7:40 and have yet to really stop. That was AM and now it is LATE PM this is getting old. I am exhausted but don't know if I can sleep.

Triple Negative Breast Cancer is the bad one in the bunch and those are the cards that I was dealt. Dr. Livingston seemed to knowledgable about this disease, he also was very compassionate and thorough. He spent a little over an hour examining me and talking to me. There were some harder parts like progression of disease into other parts of my body that would cause more then a stiff neck. The benefits of no organ involvement at this time. We touched base on the chronic part of my condition and the reality of a lot of treatment in my future...I am personally unable to say forever as I need to BELIEVE THAT THIS DISEASE WILL GO INTO REMISSION. If my insurance approves I am a candidate for a clinical trial for a combination drug therapy. It would be Team Bavituximab/Taxol. I am familiar with Taxol as we had 6 dose dense cycles my first go around. The difference is this time it would be a smaller dose and weekly. They say this reduces side effects and cancer cells respond differently. I am not sure how I feel about using a drug that I have already been treated with. I asked the Dr. about this and his answer was that in theory when Bad Boy Bavituximab gets added to the play book it is suppose to cut off any new vessels that might feed the cancer cells it singles them off by a protein given off by these new bad vessels? Sounds crazy to me. It is also a trial these are all theories that they hope will make a difference in cancer care. If insurance approves I could be enrolled in the trial within a week 2 at the latest.

The largest difference I heard today from this Dr. and the two prior oncologists was that he recommended I do combination chemo therapy vs. single agent chemo. The AZ Oncology form I was given said essentially that there was no difference in life expectancies from either of these 2 treatment options. Single agent has less side effects then double, sounds like a winning proposition to me. Dr. Livingston said that information is correct if you lumped (no pun intended) all breast cancers together. However my illustrious triple negative status needs to have a more aggressive battle plan.

It comes down to what kind of care is going to work for my life and allow me to enjoy the things that matter most. The U of A definitely had organization and flow. I was handed a vibrating pager upon check-in. That's right folks just like the Olive Garden, that little bit of corporate charm is a reminder this is business. Lucky for these folks business is booming. There was a group of ladies beading as we walked in. I was shuttled from check-in, to registration, to the American Cancer Society, then walked to the pavilion where we would wait for my buzzer to go off then they would take me in to see the Dr. Very streamlined, very smooth, nice gardens, lots of information. I spent an hour or so with the Dr., another hour with the research nurse, and then about a half hour with a social worker that wanted to let me know she was there for anything I might need. Kate and I chatted with her about the importance of support from my community. I absolutely have to put my health above everything else this is hard for me. I am trying to plan how best to do this.

The downside about the U of A is that it is in Tucson. Trying to plan a weekly drive south for treatment seems rather daunting, I don't have an extra day to spare. It is however totally possible I have some great friends in Tucson along with family.

Tomorrow I made a change-up, I cancelled my Phoenix appointments for an opportunity to see Dr. Lindquist in Sedona this all happened on the drive down. She comes highly recommended so I look forward to hearing what treatment options she has in mind.

So I came home to find a gift from a dear friend hanging from my door. It is a seaheart the legend says "with a seaheart in hand the right path is always chosen" and in case that did not cover my needs it was infused with essential oils "surrender" and "believe". The universe never ceases to amaze me.

I am grateful for my many blessings and the joy of dear friends in my life.

I feel closer to peace then I have in weeks and I am ready to sleep.

Drink water and breathe

1 comment:

  1. Hi Sarah: It is amazing to me that you can write so beautifully and in such detail about this difficult phase of your life. Treatments that keep blood vessels from forming are among the best. My coworker did western medicine with holistic treatment & support. She has been clear for several years. I am not certain what stage her bc was but she just said that it was an aggressive type. The holistic support helped with the side effects of chemo and radiation. This is a real trial and I applaud your ability to write about it. Thank you so much for trying. Prayers are with you as you triumph onward. lorraine