Friday, October 17, 2008

Chemo Fun

I had the best chemo session ever two days ago.

First, the facts. I had my second cycle of the Avastin + Ixempra combination. Before the treatment, I went over my test results with my doctor. The chest X-ray showed some improvement, with a bit less opacity ("ground glass") in the lungs and a bit less fluid in the lining of the lungs (pleural effusion) than in the previous X-ray of September 22. My tumor markers were better, with two of them going down and one of them increasing by just a little.

Overall, pretty good results - enough to believe this chemo combination is working and we should stay on course. According to my doctor, I've been feeling weak, tired, and breathless lately because my steroid dosage has been lowered, not because my cancer is getting worse. So that's good news.

As for why this last chemo session was the best I've ever had... Tony left work early, picked Josie up from school and brought her over to see me at the chemo clinic. Josie climbed into bed with me and we shared some food together. We made a tent over our heads with the blanket so we could hide under there and tell secrets to each other. I had so much fun just sitting and chatting with her, hugging and snuggling her. It didn't matter that I was hooked up to an oxygen machine and had an IV drip pumping chemo drugs into my body.

We giggled and laughed and told each other stories. It takes so little to make a kid happy. And even less to make that kid's mom happy.

12 comments:

Leighbee said...

You are simply amazing! Once again my tears flow as I read your blog.....Tears of happiness? Tears of sorrow? Tears of love? Tears of joy? Tears of hopes? Tears of frustration? Tears of anger? Tears of desperation? TEARS.........................
I think they are good tears - they are all for you and everyone who shares your life in whatever way.....
I've been thinking a lot about you and what makes you so special....I am not much of a "girly girl" and so often am "out of the crowd" favouring fishing or gardening to nails and hair! I think the fact that you are so honest and open was a HUGE appeal to me when we first met. I had "heard" about you from some other mutual friends but hadn't given any consideration to how incredible you might be until we spent time together paining the school library! I remember being almost speechless as you told me your tale with such openess and realism in such a strong and positive way....I remember my heart opening to you and your family in an almost physical manner....that day MY life was put in to perspective - something I am very grateful for.....we all have our problems I guess but you showed me that they don't need to make you dreary and miserable....that there is still strength inside that you must draw on whatever hand you are dealt. I also remember how desperate I was to tell EVERYONE about you!! I rang my Mum in the UK text Graham during a meeting....! Lastly and most sadly I remember asking a question ...... "why?!" In the short time I had known you I knew that you were special that I had found a "true friend" - not one who I coffee with every five minutes with but one I knew would always be there for me.....I also knew that with that friendship would come the pain of your condition as I watched you get sick......some warned me not to get too attached to you to save my own pain but that would be plain selfish AND I would then have missed out on such a special lady who is a big part of my life....THANK YOU FOR BEING YOU SHIN..............Keep fighting......so many need you in their lives in so many ways......xxxx

yy-anon said...

hi, i'm new to your blog and really feel you're fighting a very special battle, not just to win against cancer, but also to LIVE. many of us out here, though living relatively comfortable lives, may still not understand what LIVING is about. kudos to u!

Anonymous said...

This made me smile so much at the image of you two snuggling under your tent. Definately one for the memory bank. How very lucky you are to have such a wonderful relationship with Josie and for her to have such a wonderful mother who makes even something as simple as laying in a bed, into a special moment.
Very precious.
Sasha xxxxx

Anonymous said...

I started reading your blog a few months ago. Now, I look forward to reading your posts everyday. I have asked many friends to read it too - simply because I think your optimism, strength, courage and ability to find happiness in the smalles of things is something that we can all learn from. We may not know you personally, but you have touched the lives of so many people through your posts. The world needs more people like you :)

Margaret said...

I guess there is heaven on earth after all - even while you're getting chemo.

Anonymous said...

Shin, Josie will always remember you as a strong Mum, not a sick one, and you have always been there for your kids, and the fact that you are keeping journals and stuff despite the fact that you are not 100% pays testamount to that. A lot of people would just give up and say "woe, me" but you are strong, and by being strong, you are showing strength and resilience to your kids and Tony. Even if you do feel a bit sick now and it then, that's fine. Everyone does, actually, even if we don't have to deal with the day to day trials of cancer. Give yourself a pat on the back!! You will be fine. Even if you are dying, you will be fine. Your kids will be fine, your husband will be fine, you know that one day you will die, but not yet, when that time comes you will have done all you can. Enjoy. That's all we can do in life. Enjoy life now because you know that you've done all you can and you've been superb at doing it. Whether wife or Mom.

Shin said...

Anonymous re: my blog,

I've heard similar compliments from a number of other readers and each comment like that makes me feel as if I'm doing something useful. So thank you for taking the time to let me know what this blog means to you. What you have to say means a great deal to me.

Shin said...

Sasha,

Isn't it funny how kids can make so much fun out of such simple things? Yes, definitely one for the memory bank.

Shin said...

Anonymous re: wife and mom,

Thanks for your supportive words. I think that if I can die knowing that I've been a great mom and wife, I'll have done pretty well for myself.

Shin said...

Margaret,

Your comment put a smile on my face. These little moments ARE a bit of heaven, aren't they? They sure beat "sitting on the right hand of God" or floating around with halos and harps!

Leighbee said...

Hi Shin,

I have just been browsing through your Cancer Chronology posting and note from this that it has been a while since you last had any Chemotherapy
It may be that you haven't got around to updating the information?
Hope all is going well?
Love as always
L x

Shin said...

Leighbee,

The current chemo regime I'm on is once every three weeks. My last one was on October 15, so my next session is on November 5.