Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Phase II Round 10 Jackpot

I’ve been thinking recently how the concept of “diminishing returns” describes how I’ve been feeling about this chemotherapy treatment.  I feel that I am holding strong on the course of treatment, yet keep having to put forth more effort to maintain a basic level of function, and a positive to midland attitude.  At the same time, I’m receiving little proof of progress, and more feedback (from my body and my husband) that my ability to maintain these goals is diminishing.  
While recently crying in the CT Scan tube with visions of “Yer All Fluff” dancing in my head, does initially seem like solid proof that I am no longer tough, and therefore, likely cured of cancer, I've again begun to desire more medical proof.  I have begged for a mammogram or something beyond manual palpation to provide proof of a shrinking tumor, with no avail.  The oncologist and even the plastic surgeon now, say that a mammogram does not provide a good look, or any information that would we could base any decisions on, and that we will need an MRI.  Because I believe that the MRI is the most clear diagnostic tool, I will accept that.   Today they clarified that we would get an MRI one week after last Taxol treatment, which at this point is still up in the air, due to the neuropathies that I am developing.  The current plan is to simply check on me next week, with the possibility of this week, or each of the next two weeks being the last week.  During this week, however, the Oncologist plans to speak with the General Surgeon and the Radiation Oncologist in order to begin the ball rolling in case we discontinue this treatment early.  The Radiation Oncologist will look at the mammogram and then the MRI and assist the oncologist in deciding whether we should begin to plan for radiation, which would be after the surgery.  They will begin to plan the surgery date 3-4 weeks from the last Taxol treatment.  Also, any information that they find during the surgery and biopsies/ pathology tests that will be run during the surgery, will provide helpful information in decisions regarding radiation.
While this week started out a bit more difficult, as I mentioned in my previous post, there have been some great things too.  My son, casted, hooked and reeled in his first fish ALL on his own!  Port O’Connor here we come!

Adaline and I got to take a long 4 wheeler ride together in perfect weather at the Rayanch. 

We saw a Mexican Bald Eagle, and a black tailed deer bounded alongside us on the creek’s edge for 100 yards or more.  That was very exciting. 

We had a visit this week from Richie’s Mom, Grammy Ju Ju that went well, and I got to eat some great food, including steak, Shrimp Ceviche and Cake! 

 The weather was beautiful this weekend and Richie and I got to go out on a date and hang out with my friend Chuck, and his wife Kristin and his brother and hear entertaining tales of the Austin Marathon and Half Marathon that they participated in that day. The weather at both this Marathon and the recent 3M half marathon (either of which I could have potentially participated) was horrible.  The temperature was around 65 degrees, and the humidity was very high at both with an added headwind at the end.  This is my personal racing nightmare.  So, while I did feel a bit sorry for those who had trained for months specifically for each, it did make it a bit easier for me to miss out on those. 
I took a bit of a down week this week with exercise due to the strength required to carry the informational and mental/ emotional load that I received on Wednesday, in addition to just not feeling as well in general, until Saturday and Sunday.  I was able to jog 3 times (one nice trail run at Hill of Life, of course), and do yoga twice.  I haven’t missed a Tuesday morning run this Phase and, while difficult at times, I can still jog for 60 minutes, when rested and feeling well.
Today, Richie passed the last of what seemed like hundreds of exams to become certified in production and inventory management!  And still has a job!  Way to go, Richie!   
I am hoping that at some point near the end of this long arduous course, I will receive the ultimate return:  Some proof of a cancer free body and the ability to return to physical and possibly even mental well-being. J However, after my most recent Yoga session, in which I set my intention on relaxation and happiness, I’ve been reminded that my pot of gold is not only to be found at the end of the rainbow.  It is also within the rainbow itself.   
If you didn't already agree, take a look at this:



  1. Remember when Ace watched a video of me and teared up a bit? That just happened in reverse. Love you guys!

  2. p.s. I stole some of your photos!

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  4. Hi Emily....Todd McCann here. You are probably saying, "Who??". Found Erin on Facebook and she told me what was going on. You are in my prayers and you hang in there!! Even though it's been a long time, you always have a friend here!