Friday, January 18, 2013

Congratulations Sister!

This has been a busy, busy week.  It turns out that cancer is not just a crappy condition, it is a J-O-B!  And I was under the impression that I was retired.  Done with work. It turns out I'm just a dreamer.

On Tuesday I had a medical port installed in my chest.  This is a small medical devise that's put under the skin with a catheter connecting the port to a vein.  The drugs can be injected and blood samples can be drawn with less discomfort than a typical "needle stick".  My arms and hands were very black and blue and since I have small veins with a bunch of valves (whatever they are) so getting the needles in for the chemotherapy and blood work was becoming an issue.  Thus the ports of Portofino, St. Tropez, Monaco, Nassau, the Grand Cayman, and so on, have a competitor - The Port of Linda.  My port delivers ship loads of drugs and carries out ship loads of blood work without any stress on my veins.  My friend, Mary, gets ship loads of dialysis through the Port of Mary. 

Here's what the medical port thing looks like according to Wikipedia:




We got up at 4:00 AM and arrived at Hillman Cancer Center at 6:30 AM on Tuesday. I had the port put in as scheduled at about 8:00 AM after I was good and drugged up for a long winter's nap for this minor surgery.  I was in a light anesthesia, sort of like for a colonoscopy, which means I don't remember the surgery or some other chucks of time during the day. But it made me feel just fine for the rest of the day which was really, really long. The installation was just the beginning.

At 11:00 when I was barely semi-awake I had a CT scan and then a doctor's appointment at 2:30. I napped in the doctor's waiting room. Minor surgery can make you majorly groggy, maybe somewhat incoherent, and really, really, sleepy which can only enhance the incoherence and make you look ridiculous slouching very unladylike, in a doctor's small waiting room chair, lightly snoring and maybe dribbling some. Scott, however, was snoring much louder. We didn't get home til about 4:00. And I, of course, went right to sleep. 

Now for the really, really good news
I had very good doctor's appointment!  The tumors have already shrunk 25%!!!  The doctor says I am doing EXCELLENT at a 25% reduction at this point in my treatment and my body is responding very, very well to the chemotherapy.  I have a little bit of low potassium and may need to get a prescription for that if I can't eat enough stuff to bring it up.  I'm going to be like a monkey and feast on bananas.  A minor problem in the big picture. 

My chest/shoulder is a little sore from the port and I am still very groggy because yesterday I had the long chemo treatment which is down to about 10 hours from 12 now. This treatment starts cycle 3 so I'm 1/3 of the way through the 6 cycles and so happy I already have had some improvement. Hope is everything, and now we have some.

Prayers are working.  And we owe them to all of you who continue to surround us with your love, prayers and constant words of encouragement.  We are so grateful to be blessed with such a wonderful family and the gift of loving friends.  This has become very much a family fight for me, my beloved Scott and Dean, Kathy, Kim, James and our precious grandchildren.  You have all enriched our lives and made this challenge much more bearable.  Thank you, and know that we are praying for you, too.

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  1. I'm so happy to hear that you are responding so well to treatment. Keep up the good work and I'll keep those prayers and positive thoughts flowing your way! Love, Shelly

  2. Oh Linda this is WONDERFUL news!! I began worrying about you (additionally) when your blog was quiet for a bit. I'm SO relieved to hear things are improving and will continue to keep you in my prayers ~ thank you SO much for the update!!
    PS. When you have the time, add me to your blog and I'll get your background reinstalled. I've been updating images and codes so that's why yours is MIA at the moment. *smile*

  3. Great that your treatment is going well! So happy to hear that...


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